Preliminary February labor force data counts for San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties pegs the unemployment rate at 9.1%, 7.8% and 8.3% respectively, down 0.4 percentage points in San Francisco and San Mateo, down 0.1 percentage points in Marin.
On a revised basis, the number of unemployed in San Francisco fell by 2,000 in February (from 43,100 to 41,100) as the number of employed increased by 1,200 (from 410,100 to 411,300) and the labor force contracted by 900 (from 453,300 to 452,400).
Overall unadjusted California unemployment fell by 0.4 percentage points to 12.2% as the labor force contracted by 60,900 workers and the ranks of the unemployed fell by 83,400.
Monthly Labor Force Data for Counties: February 2011 (Preliminary) [EDD]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by A.T.

    Good news. Slowly (very slowly) crawling out of the deep hole. I’ll repeat my prediction that once we get back down to 5% SF real estate prices will start climbing as we’ll then no longer just be digging out of holes but will actually be expanding.

  2. Posted by lyqwyd

    5% unemployment is a very long way off… I think inflation will start kicking in before we get down to 5% unemployment. I think there is still a year or two of downward price movement before inflation kicks in.

  3. Posted by REpornaddict

    When was the last time we were at 5%?

  4. Posted by A.T.

    [Looks] like mid-2008 according to this (which shows the deep, steep hole since then):
    http://data.bls.gov/pdq/SurveyOutputServlet?series_id=LAUDV06418803&data_tool=XGtable

  5. Posted by dub dub

    So we aren’t even back to the salad days of March 2009! 🙂
    We should handicap these improvements given existing fiscal/monetary simuli.
    It’s interesting this is the best we can do with the firepower we are using, and must (presumably) continue to use.
    It might be safer to get to 5% unemployment by redefining the calculation (lying), or reporting unemployed college graduates with job offers instead (“I’m okay, you’re okay”).
    What we are doing now is going to hurt the bottom 75% of the population, but maybe that doesn’t matter. We’ll see!

  6. Posted by tipster

    You should see the resumes i’m getting. I’ve never seen this kind of quality.

  7. Posted by HC

    How can the labor market be considered “improving” if thousands couldn’t find jobs and had to drop off from the labor market count? The percentage means nothing, since if the only jobs available are at Zinga and everyone else has given up, then the unemployment rate is 0% and the city is fully employed.
    Note that the labor market naturally expands by over 300,000 a month nationwide due to immigrants and youths coming of age. So a net labor force reduction is a very bad sign.

  8. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    HC — all those people who stopped looking just represent dual-income families returning to single-income status. Nothing to worry about. Family values. Its good for us. Seriously.

  9. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    dub dub wrote:

    We should handicap these improvements given existing fiscal/monetary simuli.
    It’s interesting this is the best we can do with the firepower we are using, and must (presumably) continue to use.

    Re: handicapping; I wouldn’t bet at all on the existing monetary stimuli, at least for QEII continuing until unemployment comes down further. The members of the FOMC think that because the economy is technically expanding, there’s no need to continue the current policy. From Reuters, Fed unlikely to extend QE2, officials say:

    The Federal Reserve is unlikely to extend its bond-buying program with the U.S. economy now on firmer footing, several Fed officials said on Friday…The Fed has kept short-term interest rates near zero since December 2008 and has bought more than $2 trillion in long-term securities to push borrowing costs down further and boost recovery from the 2007-2009 recession. At the Fed’s most recent policy-setting meeting, policymakers unanimously voted to continue the bond-buying program begun last November which is slated to end in June.

    So things will get pretty interesting in July. The inflation hawks on the FOMC seemingly won’t be satisfied, even though core inflation is under target now, and will probably still be under target in three or four months. They’ve got themselves convinced that unemployment is what it is, and Americans will just have to adjust to seeing close-to-10% unemployment as “the new normal”.

  10. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    Repeat after me: there is no inflation. There is no inflation. There is no inflation.
    That is not the same thing as saying there will never be any inflation, but right now, there is none. Nada. Zero. Zilch. All those nutcases in the world proclaiming the “Ka-boom” theory of inflation as a result of quantitative easing have been proven wrong so far. Its a nice cute little theory that sounds good in principle but in practice it has proven to be just complete and utter nonsense. Deal with it.

  11. Posted by lark

    The Republicans won’t be satisfied until austerity and cutbacks force a double dip. Then they can run against the ‘Obama economy’.
    California has to get itself together and fix the budget without hari kari. It’s incredible that we may destroy the best public higher education system that the world has ever known, just to continue the status quo of ‘kiss and slobber’ on rich and corporate butt.

  12. Posted by tc_sf

    “There is no inflation.
    That is not the same thing as saying there will never be any inflation, but right now, there is none. Nada. Zero. Zilch.”
    The last data release from the fed showed the CPI-U up 2.1% YoY and the MoM slope (Jan to Feb) at a 6.8% annualized rate.
    Less Food and energy the rise is 1.1% YoY and a 2.4% annualized rate.
    Also note that the cleveland fed’s forward imputed inflation expectation for the next 10 years is 1.8%
    It seems reasonable to focus on the core, less food and energy, numbers and 2% seems like a very good result. But since most people eat and consume energy, the 6.8% number is what is most likely to be felt by people in the short term.
    http://www.clevelandfed.org/Research/data/US-Inflation/mcpi.cfm

  13. Posted by 47yo hipster

    I wonder why SF’s unemployment rate is consistently 1-2% higher than Marin and san Mateo? Is it because we have so many more wackos? The kind that would never get jobs? Like never ever. Can’t they adjust for that?

  14. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    tc_sf: are you seriously going to try and link long-term inflation to a month-over-month 6.8% annualized jump in an “inflation” metric that includes among other one-time factors, an oil price increase caused by a revolution in Libya?
    Uh, no. Come back when you’re returned to reality.
    Meanwhile, as you pointed out, the Fed’s inflation prediction is 1.8%/yr over 10 years … right on target despite QE1, QE2 and probably QE3.
    I would say there’s really nothing to see on the inflation front. Deflation remains a credible risk.

  15. Posted by tc_sf

    “are you seriously going to try and link long-term inflation to a month-over-month 6.8% annualized jump”
    You seemed to be asserting quite unequivocally that there was no inflation. “none. Nada. Zero. Zilch.” in your words.
    The main point of my post was to show that you were quite incorrect going by all common inflation measures. Both YoY and MoM.
    As I stated above core inflation, which is running at an acceptable 1.1% YoY 2.4% MoM slope, seems reasonable to look at when evaluating monetary policy. But short term most people will feel the pinch of the full CPI including food and energy,

  16. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    You do realize that there are crazy people out there (some are even in Congress) who actually believe that Zimbabwe-style inflation is “right around the corner” (supposedly it has been for years now).
    Meanwhile, on planet earth, inflation is running somewhere between 0% and 2% with a non-zero risk of turning negative (i.e. deflation) if quantitative easing lets up.

  17. Posted by Dan

    “I wonder why SF’s unemployment rate is consistently 1-2% higher than Marin and san Mateo? Is it because we have so many more wackos? The kind that would never get jobs? Like never ever. Can’t they adjust for that?”
    People who never get jobs are not counted in unemployment figures, so that is not the explanation. Wealthy suburban areas like Marin generally have residents with more stable employment, and have very little affordable housing. SF has more transient people, more newly employed younger people, more inexpensive housing (e.g., rent-controlled apts and roommate shares) than Marin. A better comparison to SF is Alameda County.

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