The number of people living in San Francisco with a job inched up by 600 in August to a record 548,500.

But with the labor force having grown by 1,000 to 568,300, and the number of unemployed residents having increased to 19,700 (which is the highest tally in a year), the unemployment rate ticked up from 3.4 to 3.5 percent (which is the highest in a year as well).

There are now 83,000 more people living in San Francisco with paychecks than there were at the end of 2000, an increase of 111,800 since January of 2010 and 3,200 more than at the same time last year.

But the year-over-year gain in San Francisco employment has been trending down since mid-2015. And last month’s gain of 3,200 is roughly a fourth of the year-over-year gain registered at the same time last year (13,400) and versus a year-over-year gain of 22,900 in August of 2015.

In Alameda County, which includes Oakland, employment slipped by 1,500 to 808,200 in August but remains 4,500 higher on a year-over-year basis with 116,200 more employed people living in the county since the beginning of 2010 while the unemployment rate ticked up from 4.3 to 4.4 percent.

Employment slipped by 2,300 to 1,343,800 across the greater East Bay while the unemployment rate held at 4.4 percent.

Up north, the unemployment rate in Marin County held at 3.4 percent as an 800 person increase in the labor force was matched with 700 person increase in employment to 137,900 overall.

And down in the valley, while the unemployment rate in San Mateo County ticked up from 3.1 to 3.2 percent, the number of employed residents increased by 500 to a record 440,500 while employment in Santa Clara County increased by 1,500 to 992,900 and the unemployment rate held at 3.8 percent.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by E.Gonsalves

    The Bay Area must be doing something right despite all the anti-liberal bashing from across the country. The policies are working here in the Bay Area.

    • Posted by wentworth

      You’re assuming that the ones creating the jobs are liberals?

      • Posted by Conservative

        Who are “the ones” that you are assuming? OP was referring “the policies” here in California helping to promote the local economy in result higher employment rates.

        • Posted by Notcom

          Actually the OP singled out “the Bay Area”, not “California”; so using the state level policies as a constant, we should be able to analyze the variable effect of local policies.

          Assuming of course we ignore everything else and reduce it to a frivolous exercise in “correlation = causation.”

          • Posted by Conservative

            OP never single out the Bay Area not being part of California. The Bay Area – most commonly refers to the area around the bay located in the northern region of California. OP simply states that “The policies are working here in the bay area, more so than the other parts of the country that is anti-liberal.” If you wanna talk about the relationship between variables, be my guest!

      • Posted by Frank C.

        In tech, in the Bay Area, I’d say it’s mostly true. Do you find that impossible to believe? If so, the problem is you.

    • Posted by Sabbie

      Yeah, the policies are working for the VCs, the wealthy, and the homeless. For the middle and working class, not so much.

  2. Posted by Backtotheburbs

    Hmm, you mean when all the people who can’t afford to make a living leave and ‘high quality’ transplants are imported in their place?

    If that is a ‘liberal’ policy then why would you be surprised that it is bashed around the country and world?

    • Posted by E.Gonsalves

      Most of the successful economies in the world with great quality of life are open and liberal societies. Only a few struggling underperforming corners of the US prefer conservative policies.

    • Posted by E.Gonsalves

      Even in conservative TX, Austin, their most liberal city, is the most successful.

  3. Posted by E.Gonsalves

    Liberal areas are the wealthiest and most successful economies in the nation. Bay Area, LA, Seattle, NYC, Boston, DC. etc.

    • Posted by Pablito

      Hmm. Bay Area, LA, Seattle, NYC, Boston, D.C. all have the highest levels of income equality in the country. We have 6,000+ drug addicts and mentally ill living under freeways in SF alone. Most people under 30 here can not afford an apartment and living with their parents. So successful? Maybe for some some but not many…

      • Posted by SFRealist

        If no one has a high income, you don’t have high income inequality. So you’re right that it exists, but have to consider the reasons for it.

      • Posted by that_dude

        Pablito: We do have have a lot of homeless/drug addicts. But that’s not because they can’t find jobs, it’s cause they’re incapable of taking care of themselves. They’re absolutely, mentally insane.

        If they literally can’t find a job here, and can’t afford it, a sane human being would move to a more affordable area.

        • Posted by Pablito

          I agree many of our homeless are mentally insane drug addicts. Maybe 50% of them? I dunno – hard to estimate and I do not think the surveys are accurate. But not all of the homeless are mentally insane drug addicts. Many are simply poor and/or have had bad luck in life . And if you were born here, your family is here, you do not speak english well enough, or you are hooked into the City’s generous social services, why would you move to a more ‘affordable’ area? Doesn’t make sense. And exporting our problem people? Kinda sounds like eugenics dude. Not sure that is a hallmark of a progressive civilized society.

    • Posted by Repornaddict

      Are liberal areas wealthy? Or are wealthy areas liberal?

      Liberalism now involves political correctness coupled with economic liberalism – brutally tough to those not successful but with a seeming human face – political correctness – that actually does nothing to threaten the “winners” underlying position yet providing a feeling of superiority. The aforementioned inequality results.

      It’s appeal is therefore clear, but recent events have of course exposed it’s limitations..

  4. Posted by Notcom

    Whenever they come out – which isn’t always but seemingly more than it should be – I try to reconcile contradictory job reports: we have SS here reporting jobs (mostly) still growing – albeit slowly – but we have others claiming jobs fell.

    At first I thought it might be the location of home vs. work – i.e. someone lived in SF but worked in the Eastbay (or whatever) so a job retained in the latter would actually benefit SF’s numbers – but if one aggregates all the numbers on SS (+1100 by my count) it contradicts the other report (“All told, the Bay Area shed 4,700 jobs”)

    Hopefully the Wizard of Odds (and ends), w access to the actual datasets – or at least one of them – will provide some clarity.

    • Posted by anon2

      Employment counts each person only once, but a single person can have multiple jobs.

      • Posted by Notcom

        Yes there are any number of possible statistical quirks to explain things – most obviously that the BA isn’t a closed system, so jobs could be eliminated here but they all were people who lived in Stockton or Santa Cruz or wherever – but do you really think that’s the case here ?? or do you really think that people lost – or gave up – their second or third jobs so that the number of jobs fell but the number of people with jobs didn’t?

        Admittedly the difference b/w +1100 and -4700 is very small in a market this size, so maybe it’s all some kind of timing or measuring issue, but that was why I hoped someone w/ more familiarity w/ the actual data would explain (so if that was you, then thank you)

        • Posted by anon2

          Employment and jobs numbers are just two different things and given that people can live and work in separate areas and/or have multiple jobs, it’s probably hard to make them match up. But if I had to guess as to the divergence I’d say it’s probably the rise of the ‘gig’ economy.

          The BLS definition of employment: ‘People are considered employed if they did any work at all for pay or profit during the survey reference week.’ I believe would include gig work. While the CES definition (Really a jobs measure even though it is named the Civilian Employment Survey): “Employment is the total number of persons on establishment payrolls employed full- or part-time who received pay (whether they worked or not) for any part of the pay period that includes the 12th day of the month. […] Persons on the payroll of more than one establishment are counted in each establishment. Data exclude proprietors, self-employed,” Doesn’t include independent contractors.

          Anecdotally, I’d say it’s become much more common for people to become Uber drivers or the like during periods where they don’t have a formal job. Thus they become “employed” but yet there is no corresponding job.

          • Posted by Notcom

            Thanks, tho I believe these are all from EDD figures, so their def would be the relevant one. The self-employed exclusion – if I understand it correctly – would seem to make data increasingly useless…though the extent of gig-employment is probably overstated (at least in people’s minds).

          • Posted by anon2

            The EDD’s terminology is highly confusing in my mind, but the definitions are essentially the same (And I think they incorporate BLS data in some of their releases).

            “Why does Civilian Employment differ from Total Industry Employment?
            The EDD Labor Market Information Division releases data about jobs every month. But the number of jobs we report for Civilian Employment differs from the number of jobs reported for Total Industry Employment (also known as Wage and Salary Employment). The reason for the difference in the two numbers is that they are measuring different types of employment. Total Industry Employment counts the number of jobs by the place of work. This does not include business owners, the self-employed, unpaid family workers, or private household workers. If someone holds more than one job, they may be counted more than once.

            Civilian Employment counts the number of working people by where they live. This includes business owners, the self-employed, unpaid family workers, private household workers, and wage and salary workers. An individual with more than one job is only counted once.”

          • Posted by Notcom

            Personally – i.e. at work – I fill out reports for 4 states and a Federal 941, which collectively are supposed to match each other (but sometimes don’t) so I have both a lot of sympathy and understanding for the problems with compiling the data.
            But that still brings us back to the original issue: am I supposed to be relieved that “employment” went up or disturbed that “jobs” went down? (Or just happy that it’s Friday?)

          • Posted by anon2

            As I mention below, I’d expect that we follow the path of previous bubbles and that employment problems will lag weakness in housing and/or tech. So I’d worry about neither for the moment.

          • Posted by anon2

            You can see pretty clearly that coastal CA in general is a ‘housing busts first’ region.

            “What is most apparent is that a larger number of MSAs on the coasts experienced the housing crisis first (more blue), whereas more MSAs in the central part of the United States, including Texas, experienced the labor market crisis first (more red). The observed bifurcation by geographic region matches the findings of earlier studies that looked at the magnitude of regional housing bubbles and subsequent bursts”

  5. Posted by Anon123

    Do we know how many of the 3200 additionally employed San Franciscans got their job within the city limits, or how many new jobs were created in San Francisco whether they were filled by residents or commuters?

    How much new housing was completed in that same year?

  6. Posted by Pero

    For those interested in the long term income trend and gentrification details on SF, the new US Census figures for 2016 came out recently. I played around with the data a bit and these are some of the most eye-popping trend figure for the city of SF:

    Number of households making less than $100k per year vs those that make more than that:

    2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
    Under $100k 211,546 217,270 212,674 209,130 198,597 187,651 171,007
    Over $100k 124,466 125,436 134,168 145,521 154,809 169,265 187,696

    This is the same data showing the change in households from 2015 to 2016 for different income brackets:

    Change in 2016
    Total households +1,787
    Less than $10,000 -2,638
    $10,000 to $14,999 -4,108
    $15,000 to $24,999 +1,797
    $25,000 to $34,999 -1,869
    $35,000 to $49,999 -4,689
    $50,000 to $74,999 -2,900
    $75,000 to $99,999 -2,237
    $100,000 to $149,999 +904
    $150,000 to $199,999 +6,768
    $200,000 or more +10,759
    Median household income (dollars) +11,707
    Mean household income (dollars +10,805

    Conclusion: While the number of net new households in the city rose modestly (+1800), there is a more profound dynamic going on where around 15’000 people making less than $100k left the city and around 17’000 people making more than $100k moved to the city. In fact, the biggest newcomer bracket if people making more thank $200k per year (+10’000 people in 2016).

    I’m not saying this is a positive or negative trend overall. I just believe it’s a more long-term and substantial way of thinking about the city’s economic and real estate market trends then the month-to-month employment figures.

    • Posted by Notcom

      Are these constant dollar amts? Is there a large bulge of incomes around the $100K mark? (Please don’t interpret these as criticisms – i applaud your initiative – I’m just anticipating possible questions that might arise.)

      • Posted by Pero

        The numbers are NOT inflation adjusted. This is definitely something that could be improved in this analysis. The inflation rate was fairly modest between 2010 to 2016 (1.61% on average according to this site).

        Nevertheless, I doubt adjusting the figures for inflation would change the general trend. Also the 2015 vs 2016 figures comparison should not be minimally impacted.

        • Posted by Notcom

          I agree, particularly over this small period of time.

          The distribution, OTOH, I see as a big issue – or a big potential one, anyway: if for example,the median is right around $100K, then very small shifts in income could cause very big shifts in the over/under nos. It depends on the spread and shape of the numbers (IIRC from school incomes don’t generally follow a normal curve exactly, but they still have a “hilly” shape.)

          But I agree with your point: the city is becoming wealthier…perhaps a lot more and rapidly.

    • Posted by anon

      Very interesting. More people, and even more high-income people. And not nearly enough added housing. Not really that hard to see why there is upward price pressure on SF housing beyond that applicable to other parts of the U.S.

        • Posted by Pero

          I’m very skeptical of these figures and their ability to shed light on the overall real estate market. SF still remains a city of single family homes. The households making +$200k are most likely to be looking for SFHs. Prices for SFH have continued to rise through the summer 2017.

          • Posted by curmudgeon

            less than 1/3 of housing units in SF are single family homes, and production of SFH is measured in the double digits annually. Sorry to criticize, but what planet do you live on? Even in terms of owner occupied housing I believe condos are way ahead of SFH’s but I don’t have those figures at my fingertips.

          • Posted by SocketSite

            And of course, the market for condos in San Francisco, as measured by transaction volume, is now larger than the market for single-family homes. And that’s not including new construction sales. But unfortunately, that doesn’t support the “condos don’t matter” rationale.

          • Posted by jimbo

            my wife and I make over $600K combined (DINKs) and we didnt even bother to look at SFHs. They were out of our price range. i dont think the 200K means anything for housing. I would look more at the 400K numbers.

        • Posted by anon

          You’re sticking with that silly Mark Company report, huh? Prices are down 20% since August 2015? Nobody with two eyes could believe that.

          Take a look at 264 Henry St. Sold for $1,190,000 in September 2014, and just closed again at $1,510,000 – up 27%. I guess it really rose 50% in the first year and it’s down 20% since then . . .

          Oh well, gotta run with what you’ve got, I guess.

          • Posted by SocketSite

            Feel free to ignore the pricing index and focus on the sales figures and absorption. (But if you’re going to counter an index for new construction pricing, perhaps the performance of an Edwardian condo in Corona heights isn’t the best choice?)

            Regardless, please don’t stop moving the goal posts back with respect to the original purchase dates for your anecdotes. Nobody in the office expected you to blow past 2015-era buys so soon and the pool is quickly growing for when we’ll see your first “see, prices are still up” example based on a 2013-era buy.

          • Posted by anon

            Boy, nice misdirection! I simply found an example of a home that closed the day before my post – showing a 27% price rise in 3 years. I’ve shown plenty of recent price rises from 2014, 2015, and 2016 buys.

            So tell us – did that place really rise 47% in the first year and has fallen 20% since then (per your Mark Company “index”)? Did it rise 40% the first year and it’s fallen 17% since then? Did it rise 30% in the first year and it’s fallen 3% since then? Or maybe new condo pricing has crashed while every other market segment has continued to rise? None of those positions is defensible, so you simply evade the point.

          • Posted by SocketSite

            Yes, a brilliant example of a non-new construction sale, in a neighborhood with little new construction, and with a gain from 2014 to 2017 to counter an index for new construction values that suggests said market peaked in late 2015 and has since declined. At least you’re consistent (and our pool continues to grow).

            And once again, feel free to ignore the pricing index and focus on the trend in sales and absorption.

          • Posted by anon

            Still avoiding anything close to a direct response, huh? With your vague comments, it appears you’re settling on new construction is down 20% in the last two years while everything else is up about 15%. A divergence of 35%. Again, you avoid saying this clearly, instead relying on vague innuendo, because it is such a ridiculous position.

          • Posted by Wilson

            Everything up 15% over the last two years is not compatible with all the sub-2014-5 pricing.

    • Posted by cleverpunhere

      Super interesting data. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Posted by two beers

      “Conclusion: While the number of net new households in the city rose modestly (+1800), there is a more profound dynamic going on where around 15’000 people making less than $100k left the city and around 17’000 people making more than $100k moved to the city. In fact, the biggest newcomer bracket if people making more thank $200k per year (+10’000 people in 2016).”

      Considering that local land use policy is aimed at eliminating property uses that employ blue collar workers in favor of property uses that employ coders or conversion of PDR space to luxury condos, the data might be eye-popping, but they’re completely predictable given local land use/tax policy, state RE laws, and national monetary policy.

      It’s called class war, and you’re winning, grandly.

      • Posted by SFRealist

        It’s not local land use that favors coders over PDR.

        It’s the workd economy for the last 30 years. It’s called progress. It’s not going to stop.

        • Posted by two beers

          Globalization is a polite euphemism for international labor arbitrage, which has increased inequality to extreme, historic levels. Nice progress!

          You deny that SF zoning has permitted conversion of hundreds of former PDR-zoned properties to office space and luxury lofts? I’m sure all of those developers will be glad to hear that they have violated zoning laws. And you call yourself a realist? What a joke.

          • Posted by SFRealist

            Yes and no. SF zoning has permitted conversion of PDR to office space.

            But the motivation to do so isn’t because of SF zoning. Not really about glabalization either. Over recent decades, some industries (online commerce) have become vastly more profitable. Others (autobody and print shops) have not. SF zoning isn’t driving that change. SF zoning is following that change as the economy shifts.

            Rope manufacturing used to be an industry in SF. The economy has changed.

          • Posted by two beers

            You’re saying the economy is changing because the economy is changing. Sorry, but tautology isn’t an argument.

            Quick, what percentage of US retail is online?

            Most people think it’s between 40%-60%.

            It’s actually less than 9%.

            Also, online retail still hasn’t proven to be the profitable juggernaut most people think it is. Amazon stills shows a loss from online retail most quarters, and in the rare quarter it shows a profit in that sector, it is by an extremely small, negligible margin.

            There are structural reasons why online retail works great for some items (eg, data-based goods, like streamed videos; and small, lightweight, fungible, non-perishable, non-fragile items), and not so good for goods that don’t have those characteristics.

            Those companies are valued at billions of dollars not because they have proven they have a profitable business model, but because US monetary policy has the sole aim of propping up assets (thereby transferring wealth from where it’s created at the bottom to the entitled hoarders at the top).

            Digital processing has increased printing profit margins, but demand has obviously declined. In general, PDR isn’t a race to increase profitability, but a means to provide stable and steady income to workers without college degrees.

          • Posted by Anon123

            I don’t think there is any denying that the economy has changed – first change was from agriculture to industrial, the next from industrial to service. San Francisco is no longer a place for industrial production as the cost of space and transportation of goods is too high. You can make a lot of zoning restrictions to keep PDR (and retail) space in the city and limit the amount of office space for software, engineering, design, banking etc. but you are really fighting against the economic forces of capitalism.

            It makes some sence to have HVAC tehnicians, auto mechanics etc in close proximity, but are you willing to pay the higher cost for the convenience of proximity? If enough people will pay the higher cost then the PDR space will be able to hold its own and not be under constant pressure to be redeveloped to condos and offices.

          • Posted by SFRealist

            Also by the time companies are valued in the billions, they do actually have a business model.

            Convenient example from today: Slack just raised $250M for a 5B valuation. Slack also has $200M in annual revenue. That seems like a business model to me.

          • Posted by two beers

            Of course the economy has changed, duh. But the transformation of the economy doesn’t occur magically (the invisible hand is a real as the Easter bunny), nor is the transformation the aggregate subconscious will of hundreds of millions of “rational” micro-agents, as the Austrians believe. Modern economies are the direct result of policy that is designed to crush workers and transfer the wealth they create up to the lazy entitled hoarders at the top, via asset bubbles, most conspicuously real estate and stocks.

            I have no idea whether Slack is remotely profitable, but even if it is, for every Slack, there are a fifty Juiceros.

          • Posted by SFRealist

            Good to hear you’ve changed your mind and now agree that the economy has changed.

            The smartphone economy didn’t come about because of government policy decisions about crushing workers (huh?). It’s because people like better phones. Changes in San Francisco zoning have zero effect on the modern economy.

          • Posted by SFRealist

            I’m also skeptical of your 50 Juiceros per 1 Slack ratio.

            But even if it’s true, so what? Until Juicero failed its employees made decent money. Now they will move on to a different company, where they will still earn salaries that will go to pay rent or a mortgage. What’s the problem?

    • Posted by jimbo

      would be nice to see the upper end broken out more. $200K is not really a very high number. Would like to see it include the 200-300, 300-400, 400+. IMHO, only the 400+ should be buying here at the median house price.

      • Posted by SFRealist

        It’s a good thing your opinion isn’t widely shared!

        I’m looking to buy another property, and I don’t make $400k.

      • Posted by Notcom

        Much like the economy, his(her) opinion seems to have changed: just a few inches up the claim was made that (even) a $600K income put houses “out of our price range”!

        So a transition to (only) $400K as a useful metric is either a thorough non-sequitur or a change of heart.

  7. Posted by anon

    The labor force numbers don’t have any real correlation with housing prices. The unemployment rate does have some correlation. But given standard laws of supply and demand, it is hard to see anything here that would support any prediction of falling SF housing prices in the near future. If unemployment spikes above 7-8%, then we might have some support.

    • Posted by SocketSite

      Employment is highly correlated with the price of housing, even more so than the unemployment rate.

      • Posted by anon

        Look at 2002-06 — period of labor force decline that correlated with rapid housing price increases. 2010-12, big population increases with flat housing prices. 2013-17, both population and housing price gains. Little to no correlation (at least during the time period you’re presenting here).

        By contrast, the periods of rising unemployment (2001-02, 2008-10) correlate very closely with falling home prices, and vice-versa.

        • Posted by anon2

          But again, correlation is not causality. Did the 2007 bubble burst because of high unemployment? Or did the bubble bursting cause unemployment?

          “In early 2007, the most recent U.S. housing bubble burst. The bust was followed by the onset of the Great Recession and the deepest employment decline that the United States has experienced since the end of World War II.”

          Specifically in the SF MSA they found almost a two year lag between the bubble bursting and an employment impact.

          Similarly, rising unemployment didn’t cause the 2000 tech bubble to burst, but the bursting of that bubble put many out of work.

          You can’t point to the health of lagging indicators to prove anything about the current situation.

          • Posted by anon

            Nobody said anything about causality. I just pointed out that since at least 2000, the size of the labor force has not been correlated to housing price trends.

            Even accepting your point that “you can’t point to the health of lagging indicators to prove anything about the current situation,” which is pretty questionable, you certainly can’t point to the health of those indicators to conclude that there is some crash around the corner.

      • Posted by SFRealist

        And employment is still rising.

  8. Posted by Dave

    The context is important and specifically how SF/the Bay Area is doing compared to other metros. Job growth here is small on a year over year basis across the 9 county region. Seattle job growth, year over year, is a very robust 2.5%.

    • Posted by Notcom

      They have my condolences.

      No, seriously, : I know it’s rank heresy to a few “realists” on here, and perhaps I have to renounce my Areaship status or something, but few things could benefit the BA more right now than the focus of growth shifting somewhere else.

      I’m not suggesting we become the next Detroit, but I am suggesting we not become a repeat of the last one: an area that throws it’s fortune behind a single focus, overbuilds, and then collapses when it moves elsewhere.

      • Posted by Dave

        The Bay Area won’t become Detroit but its job and population growth will significantly lag many other metros over the next several decades. It will be a good a good thing for the Bay Area Seattle is far more proactive in attempting to keep the area affordable than SF ever was so hopefully all their growth will not ruin that beautiful region as happened here. The Seattle metro area should surpass SF/Oak in population by mid-century. If they can do that and still keep housing more affordable than it has been in SF for several decades all the more power to them. If the current trend continues the region could one day challenge Silicon Valley as a center for tech. Amazon is adding so many workers that it is leasing up the lion’s share of office space coming on the market there – a huge office space shortage is looming. LinkedIn will IMO relocate much of its Bay Area workforce to the region in the coming years. That is the hope among many LinkedIn workers that I know.

        • Posted by anon2

          IMO, this is a cyclical phenomenon, albeit a very large one. SF has been a boom bust town since the gold rush much to the chagrin of the Pollyanna Patrol crying ‘what’s a bubble?’ But conversely, it’s survived and thrived even after all those busts. The magic of the BA is not that it never busts, it’s that it always seems to re-boom.

          If some stock salesman whispers sweet smartphone nothings into your ear and gets you to buy Apple stock at 100x earnings, you might get financially clobbered even if Apple itself does well.

          Just as the people levering to higher valuations didn’t represent a fundamental improvement in the BA, price drops don’t represent a fundamental failure of the region.

          Though, it’s been 10 years from the last peak to now and that down cycle was undoubtedly foreshortened by massive government intervention. So the difference between a 15 year down cycle and a permanent decline might be academic to some.

          • Posted by Dave

            It’s cyclical but there is a broader systemic change going on as the Bay Area, relatively, is eclipsed by Seattle, Austin, Houston and other metros over the next decades. The up-cycle/boom that will indeed come again to the Bay Area will be not as robust due the underlying systemic change going on. By mid-century it is quite possible Seattle will be the number two West Coast metroplex after LA. Even LA, which is growing relatively slow compared to Seattle and Phoenix and Houston, is growing faster – once again – than the Bay Area. On a percentage basis. One interesting stat I read was that the West Coast will grow at just slightly more than the national average in the coming decades but, if you remove the Bay Area from the mix, it will grow significantly faster than the national average.

          • Posted by Notcom

            I agree…kind of: but there was a long period of “normalcy”, and it seems like things have only gone on warp drive the past few years, both socio/politically and economically; the Bay Area, SF specifically, was always liberal, but still w/i range of other areas – the 1956 Repub Convention was here…could anyone even imagine such today?? – I don’t see that as true anymore. Economically, though the 19th C was dominated by a series of mining booms, there was a long (~century) period when the prosaics like trade, fiance and even manufacturing prevailed, They’re still here, of course, and their importance is often forgotten when talking about where people actually work, but as far as driving…distorting …the economy, the current influences don’t have a precedent (at least a recent one).

          • Posted by anon2

            Eclipsed by volume or by quality? The conceit of bubble times is that there are vast numbers of people worth huge stock option payouts. Every HTML coder in dot com 1.0 and everyone throwing together an Uber for ‘X’ delivery app now. But just because most people’s bubble dreams will pop, doesn’t mean that there are no people with skills worth top dollar. Just because most late stage bubble companies here are on shaky ground doesn’t mean that the next Google or Apple won’t be created here.

            I do think that even top tier companies will feel pressure to move rank and file workers elsewhere, but there will still be superstars here. And those superstars are far more likely to create a new boom from the ashes of the last bust than a warehouse full of rank and file employees elsewhere.

          • Posted by Dave

            @anon2 – Seattle is sane progressive. SF is crazy progressive. The difference is stark and the results are apparent. Distortion happens in a boom, but SF and the Bay Area never addressed this boom in a regional manner and the BA is now paying the price for that. It’s not just SF – Silicon Valley eschewed housing development for massive office development. The transportation system in totally balkanized – each area has their own fiefdom and lucrative pensions and won’t let go. HSR should by any rational standard gone to Oakland and not SF. On and on it goes – SF trying to squeeze 40K more jobs in Central SOMA when BART and the bridge are at capacity – that is pure avarice and a complete disregard for the region.

            One anecdote – in the Seattle area in most neighborhoods many homes sport US flags, not just on national holidays but as a rule. I introduced a Bay Area friend Seattle a few months back and she said why so many flags – this is a liberal city. The answer is simple – diversity. The Bay Area does not have that. There is a huge military presence in the Seattle/Redmond/Bremerton region – a great source of non-tech jobs there – and many military personnel retire in Seattle after having been stationed there. A more diverse population base that brings a “stability” to the area economically and culturally.

          • Posted by anon2

            I agree that the region did not handle the boom well, but that handles itself when the bust happens.

            The idea that some boosters have that the SV-SF region must be where thousands of mid-range tech workers get warehoused was never realistic. Cost pressures eventually push mid and lower range work to cheaper pastures. Even Amazon is looking outside Seattle for it’s next tech hub. The hepta-deca-corn that is Uber was essentially cloned by Didi in China. Not every piece of tech work is ‘Only in the Valley’

            But some of the same irrational risk taking that propels bubbles to lofty heights actually becomes useful at the bottom. Most startups fail and a rational person would probably just look at the odds and give up. But at the bottom of a cycle a bunch of Stanford grads piled into a garage have little to lose and much to gain, albeit at very long odds.

            Having thousands of rank and file people go into seven figure debt to lever up 10x while working for companies burning cash have much to lose and little to gain, with the law of large numbers saying most will lose.

          • Posted by SFRealist

            Sorry, where’s the evidence that thousands of people have gone into 7 figure debt?

          • Posted by anon2

            The NAR just released a stat that the average down payment for those under 35 has dropped to 8%. The SF median is above $1M, so if you wanted to pull a lot of those people into homes here, they’d be taking on some serious debt. And at the top of the RE cycle, they’d have a lot to lose.

            When prices were rising that was feasible. With flat or dropping prices, a more stable equilibrium is that those people end up elsewhere.

          • Posted by SFRealist

            Is that the average under 35 year old across America, or the average under 35 year old in SF?

  9. Posted by Jon Schwark

    These numbers are always so strange to me. What I really want to know is how many jobs are there in SF, not how many people living in SF have jobs.

  10. Posted by Dave

    @Anon apropos to: “The idea that some boosters have that the SV-SF region must be where thousands of mid-range tech workers get warehoused was never realistic. Cost pressures eventually push mid and lower range work to cheaper pastures”.

    A recent Business Insider story headlined that an SF tech company is starting to pay workers 10K to move out of SF. Key item was that well paid engineers and such at tech companies are forced to pay up to half their high incomes just in rent. Foster who is the CEO of Zapier – the company shifting workers out of SF – said:

    “Some of us fall in love with the area and are financially able to make it home. But for the rest of us, it can be a real challenge to turn the Bay Area into a lifelong home rather than a short stop in our twenties and thirties”.

    This is a perfect example of what is happening – the Bay Area a place millenials move to as they move up in their career but not a place they ultimately make home. And beyond that, the ease with which middle level tech worker can be moved out of the Bay Area. I suspect the coming decade will see a major exodus of such jobs from the region.

    • Posted by SFRealist

      Agree that there will be a major exodus as companies move jobs elsewhere.

      Fortunately that exodus will be more than offset by other companies creating even more jobs in SF. More venture money is now raised by SF companies than anywhere else. We should plan on this being the new normal.

      • Posted by Dave

        Note one element of the story – this is a start-up company which, though based in SF, is looking to have most of its workers work remote from SF. And is paying them to do so. I’d take that offer in a week and be on the next plane to Portland.

        This calls into doubt the assumption by some that new companies will come in and replace the jobs that leave, job for job.

        Reality is that start up funding is tougher to come by and such companies are being looked at more realistically, in terms of funding, by VC folks. Expensive leases for SF office space or the need to pay huge salary premium to attract talent to SF is becoming a negative in the overall equation. Especially as the talent pools in Seattle or Austin swell and cities like these become more than places for satellite offices.

        This applies too to the SV. This is, IMO, the beginning of a systemic shift of tech jobs to other areas over the coming decades. All the indicators are there and are more apparent than ever. This story is one of many signs that the times are a changing when it comes to the Bay Area and tech – of course with tech it is always about change.

        • Posted by SFRealist

          You seem to be basing your predictions on one small company.

          I’m basing mine on companies like Airbnb, Stripe, Salesforce, Uber, Lyft, Dropbox, Square, etc. They don’t seem to be moving.

      • Posted by anon2

        “major exodus as companies move jobs elsewhere. Fortunately that exodus will be more than offset by other companies creating even more jobs”

        This is a very large cycle with companies reaching a very large size while still losing money, many without a clear direction towards sustainability. So it’s debatable if the next cycle will be as large as this one.

        But the key is that the timing of the job creation and job destruction is cyclical. It was no coincidence that many dot coms failed around the same time. Investor risk appetite goes in waves. VC’s and investors are herd animals. When housing is rising, you can attract the rank and file without paying them excessively since rising home equity puts money in their pockets. Not so when housing is flat or falling.

        Unlike Dave, I do think there will be another boom (though maybe not as large as this one), but there will most likely be a bust and a period of flatness at the bottom before the next boom.

        I don’t see a systemic failure of the bay area, but nor do I see an end to the cyclical nature of the region.

        • Posted by Dave

          I’m not calling for a failure of the Bay area – rather a systemic decline of the importance of the Bay Area as a tech/job/population center relative to several other metros in the coming decades. The two dominant West Coast centers by mid-century will be, IMO, LA and Seattle. The Texas cities will explode in terms of population and jobs. it is not inconceivable that someday Apple could have more workers in and around Austin that it does in the Bay Area. South City was the bio-tech center of the country for a long while before it was supplanted by Boston.

          There will be other booms here and everywhere. it is all a cycle – the next boom will not be as great and the days of large numbers of new skyscrapers being built in SF as occurred this past decade are over. If for no other reason than there is not much land left to build towers on in SF. The next boom will pale in comparison to the most recent.

    • Posted by Sabbie

      An upcoming real estate conference has the following keynote session: Bay Area Housing and Traffic Crisis: Impacts, Consequences of Inaction, & Most Viable Planning Solutions. Prominent panelists will discuss such topics as “Think It’s Bad Now? Adapting To Future Bay Area Population Growth” and “Public Transportation: How Overstressed Is the Infrastructure, and Are Expansion Plans Sufficient and Fast Enough?”. This is not a joke by the way.

      For the chart watchers, I would direct you to the red line, which appears to be bottoming out and posting a higher high. The last time the line looked like that was fall 2007, which some might recognize as the peak of the last bubble. History doesn’t repeat but it does rhyme, because human nature is immutable.

      • Posted by SFRealist

        Is that conference from 2017 or 2007 or 1997? People have been talking about problems in our public transportation for decades. (Which is not to say that it’s not a problem, but just that it’s been a problem for a long time.)

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