Bay Area Continues to Lead California’s Job Growth

Two Bay Area regions led the state in job gains on an annual basis in September, and unemployment dropped in every county from the previous month, trends sure to help sustain intense demand for real estate here.Help_Wanted_Orange

According to a report from the Palo Alto-based Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy (CCSCE), the Bay Area added 12,900 jobs in September and 99,000 over the past year. The organization says that the San Francisco metro area led the state in job growth, gaining 37,500 positions since last September for a year-over-year increase of 3.5 percent. The San Jose metro area followed closely behind, with 31,500 new jobs, an annual gain of 3.2 percent.

CCSCE also cited employment growth in the East Bay region, which added 21,500 positions since last September, a year-over-year increase of 2.1 percent.

The organization’s report followed the California Employment Development Department’s September unemployment report, which shows that jobless claims decreased in all nine Bay Area counties for the second consecutive month.

Marin County continues to enjoy the lowest unemployment rate in the state, down to 3.9 percent in September on a nonseasonally adjusted basis. Four other Bay area counties are the only ones in California with unemployment rates of less than 5 percent: San Mateo (4.1 percent), San Francisco (4.4 percent), Napa (4.4 percent), and Sonoma (4.9 percent).

All nine Bay Area counties have a lower unemployment rate than the California average, which dropped to 7.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The construction sector showed the biggest annual job increases in the state, growing 6 percent since September 2013. CCSCE calls the gain a “triple winner” for California’s economy, nothing that positions in the field typically pay high wages and create jobs in other industries.

Perhaps more importantly, an increase in hiring in the construction sector means that more homes are being built, which is crucial to California’s overall economic health, the organization says.

“Building housing and infrastructure addresses two of California’s key economic competitiveness challenges,” wrote Stephen Levy, CCSCE’s director.

(Photo: Flickr/Paul Townsend)

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