Job Growth in the Bay Area Even Better Than First Reported

Bay Area counties have led the state in new-job growth in recent years, but recently revised statistics show that our region’s economic engine is even stronger than experts had reported.Workers

The California Employment Development Department had previously reported that nearly 70,000 jobs were added to the nine-county Bay Area economy between December 2012 and December 2013, but updated data puts the new-job total at almost 117,000  — nearly one-third of all the jobs created in the entire state.

“The Bay Area growth was much stronger than the already strong growth that had been reported,” according to Stephen Levy, director and senior economist of the Palo Alto-based Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy., who analyzed the updated EDD numbers in his latest monthly jobs report.

The Bay Area, Levy said, “remains the job growth leader” in the state.

While the number of new jobs statewide rose 2.6 percent over the past year, Levy said they increased 4.4 percent in the San Jose metropolitan area and 3.6 percent in the San Francisco metro area. In the East Bay, sluggish job growth reversed course and rose 2 percent.

Those numbers spell good news for the region’s real estate markets, with rising employment awakening interest among homebuyers and sellers alike. In fact, as we reported yesterday, robust job growth had led home price gains to far outpace number of units sold in four San Mateo County communities over the past three years.

And as new-job numbers rise, unemployment rates continue to fall.

The state’s jobless rate dropped to 8.1 percent in January, the lowest level in more than five years, according to the latest EDD employment update, while unemployment in Bay Area counties fell as low as 4.7 percent.

Marin County‘s 4.7 percent unemployment rate was the lowest in the state. San Mateo County had the second-lowest rate, 4.9 percent, and San Francisco had the third-lowest, at 5.3 percent.

All but one of the remaining Bay Area counties also posted jobless rates far below the state average: Santa Clara County, 6.1 percent; Sonoma County, 6.2 percent; Napa County, 6.4 percent; Alameda County, 6.7 percent; and Contra Costa County, 7.0 percent. Solano County matched the state average at 8.1 percent.

In the Tahoe/Truckee region, unemployment was 7 percent in Placer County and 7.3 percent in Nevada County.

(Image: Flickr/Thompson Rivers University)

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