By Christian Zlolniski
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Additional resources for Janitors, street vendors, and activists : the lives of Mexican immigrants in Silicon Valley
16 The economic boom of the 1990s created a tremendous number of employment opportunities for both skilled and low-skilled workers in the region, but it did not significantly alter this segmented labor market structure. 17 As in the past, economic inequality in the region largely overlapped with ethnic divisions. In 1990, for example, whites made up 81 percent of the managerial workforce and 71 percent of the professional workforce in high-tech employment. 18 In the 1990s, Mexican and other Latino immigrants became the principal source for cheap and flexible labor in the low-skilled service sector.
As in other Latino immigrant neighborhoods, many of Santech residents are young parents with children, composing a much younger group than the rest of M E X I C A N I M M I G R A N T S I N S I L I C O N VA L L E Y 37 the general population in the city. S. Bureau of the Census 2000). In addition, most people in Santech live in overcrowded conditions with extended families and boarders, a factor that contributes to the barrio’s high population density. 92 persons per household, respectively). Official statistics however tend to underestimate the number of people per household in low-income immigrant neighborhoods, including in other Mexican barrios in San Jose (Dohan 2003: 233).
Located in the southeast part of San Jose, the barrio is encapsulated in a residential area composed of modest singlefamily homes and a government project for low-income residents. As shown in Figure 1, the barrio consists of 96 fourplexes and 28 condominiums symmetrically aligned along six streets, four of which are parallel to each other, with the fifth and sixth perpendicular to the rest. All the fourplexes consist of small two-bedroom apartments, each of which contains a living room, a kitchen, one bathroom, and, in the case of the upstairs apartments, a small deck (see Figure 2).