The Bay Area provided another month of solid increases in employment as the California unemployment rate fell to its lowest point in more than two years.
Employers added 13,100 jobs in March in the Gulf region, but recruitment slowed dramatically from February, when 22,100 jobs were added in the nine-district area, a report by the state’s employment development department released Friday.
California gained 60,200 jobs in March, less than half of the 135,400 jobs added nationwide in February.
“Growth has spread across a wide range of industries,” said Jeffrey Michael, CEO of the Center for Business and Policy Research at the University of the Pacific in Stockton.
Russell Hancock, president of JDC Silicon Valley, a San Jose-based think tank, said he was not worried about the monthly fluctuations.
“What’s more important is the long-term trend, which is positive for growth and indicates a full recovery,” Hancock said.
However, the slowdown in recruitment is a heralding reminder that the COVID job deficit is still hurting the country-wide economy. The Bay Area and California are not close to recovering all the jobs they lost at the start of the Corona virus outbreak in March 2020.
One bright spot: The California unemployment rate has improved significantly in March, falling to 4.9% from 5.3% in February, and the best level for the main economic index since the outbreak of the Corona virus.
This is the first time that the unemployment rate in California has been below 5% since February 2020 – the month before the shutdown of corona-related businesses by government order.
“Today’s report is better news for California’s continued economic recovery, representing thousands of new opportunities for workers across the state,” Governor Gavin Newsum said in a statement.
But recruitment has slowed greatly in all three major Gulf Coast urban centers in March, the EDD reported.
Santa Clara County added 3,900 jobs in March, up from 5,200 in February; East Bay accumulated 3,300 jobs in March, less than 7,200 added in the previous month; And the San Francisco-San Mateo area added 4,800 jobs, well below the 7,500 accrued in February. All numbers have been seasonally adjusted.
And yet, with the latest employment report, California and the Bay Area, including the region’s three major metro areas, have all come close to recovering from the huge losses at the start of the Sabbath.
Here’s how California and the Gulf region are doing well in terms of job recovery that disappeared in March 2020 and April 2020:
California regained 89.3% of the 2.76 million jobs the state lost, leaving a deficit of 295,500 jobs.
– The United States has recovered 92.8% of its lost jobs.
– The Gulf region has regained 77.8% of the 650,600 jobs it has lost and has a shortage of 114,600 jobs.
The province of Santa Clara has recovered 85.3% of the 153,600 jobs it has lost and has a deficit of 22,600 jobs.
– The East Gulf recovered 81.3% of the 196,200 jobs lost, leaving a shortage of 36,700 jobs.
The San Francisco-San Mateo area has recovered 77.4% of its lost employment, a deficit of 42,400 jobs.
“We will likely see a much larger slowdown in job growth during 2022, as the effects of inflationary government spending begin to be felt,” said Michael Bernick, an employment lawyer at the law firm of Dawn Morris and former EDD director.
Consumers in the Gulf region have begun to change spending and leisure habits, which could strengthen the sectors affected by the region’s economy.
“Residents of the Bay Area are setting out, which is helping to increase employment in restaurants, bars and entertainment venues,” said Mark Whitner, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Bank.
As employees at Apple, Google and other companies begin to return to the office, restaurants and other businesses that have been hit hard may see an increase in traffic.
Restaurants and hotels in March added 2,800 jobs in Santa Clara County, 2,000 in the San Francisco-San Mateo area and 1,100 in the East Bay, according to seasonally adjusted data concluded by Beacon Economics and UC Riverside from the EDD report.
Still, multiple challenges await.
“The availability of talent will become the main obstacle to achieving a full regional recovery,” said Jeff Blissario, director of the Gulf Council Economic Institute. Cheaper or remote work to staff jobs. “
For now, however, the recovery has been strong enough for people to return to the workforce.
Recovery from work in the Bay Area has allowed 170,800 residents to rejoin the workforce over the past 12 months, said Steve Levy, director of the Center for Continuing Research of the California Economy in Palo Alto. About 24,800 returned to the labor force in March alone, Levy estimated.
Hancock suggested that the corona virus may have permanently changed the region’s economy and erased some jobs, especially those in the hotel and travel sectors.
“People who have filled these jobs will make transitions to the other growth areas of the economy,” Hancock said. “It is also clear that many people do not want to return to their previous positions. They have emerged from the epidemic with new views on work and life and higher wage expectations.”