San Francisco Employment

With the number of San Francisco residents with jobs having increased by 600 over the past month and up 9,400 over the past year, the unemployment rate in the city has dropped to 4.4 percent and employment in San Francisco has hit a new all-time high.

The number of employed San Francisco residents now totals 466,500.  That’s 1,000 more than the 465,500 people employed at December 2000’s dot-com peak when the unemployment rate in the city measured 3 percent.  And the labor force in San Francisco now totals 487,500 versus 480,000 at the end of 2000, according to California’s Employment Development Department.

The unemployment rate in San Francisco topped out at a little over 10 percent in January of 2010 when 58,800 fewer San Francisco residents were employed than today.

In addition, the unemployment rates in Marin and San Mateo both dropped 0.1 percentage points in May and now measure 3.8 percent and 4.1 percent respectively.  And the unadjusted unemployment rate for California has fallen to 7.1 percent with 129,500 more people now employed than in the month before.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by jwb

    I take it this time series was redefined in 2000?

  2. Posted by SFrentier

    Keep ’em coming! I’ll have nice rentals for them in Bayview soon!

  3. Posted by BigV

    it is fascinating to notice how little the labor force declined during this last recession compared to the 2000 bust. People didn’t leave.

    • Posted by KThom

      Perhaps this time they finally got priced out of SF housing. Lose your tech job today, you’ll be leaving town soon (and won’t ruin their numbers)?

  4. Posted by Greg

    2000 was the dot com bubble bust and employment in SF took a huge hit (much worse than the overall US economy). The “Great Recession” of 2008 / 2009 hit the rest of the country much worse than SF — the tech employment boom kept our employment rate from cratering like it did across the US.

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      2000 took a big hit because a lot of people working on dot com 1.0 really had little technical skills. When dot com 2.0 got going that job market demanded much greater tech skills. Hand coding HTML doesn’t really scale well.

      • Posted by Jake

        2000 took a big hit because SF went from $40-50 billion a year in VC money to $10 billion.

        Thousands of people with excellent software skills left town, not just poseurs.

  5. Posted by Name

    Or as the SF fauxgressives call it: Google is destroying the city!

    • Posted by LastName

      by pricing the poor and unemployed out of town? That’s “progress?” Pretty sure this kindof thing led to Bastille Day.

      • Posted by Chuck D

        Yes, the sans culottes will storm the modern equivalent of the Bastille, release the political prisoners, and then…

      • Posted by Spencer

        the majority of city residents are benefitting from this economic boom. which bastille would you storm? there is really not a 1% that you can go after here. there is not 1 clear “rich dictator” group. the 35% of homeowners are doing well, and probably half or more f the renters (65%) are doing well in salary, career development and wealth . we are in a major wealth generation and job boom cycle. hopefully people will give more to charity in this time. neither the poor nor the rich have entitlement rights to lvie here. we are a capitalist country. the locl govt. has done a lot for affordable housing for low income, maybe so much that it has increase the prices for the other 80% of city residents. it would be good if people began to think more of SF as part of the Bay Area instead of an island. if someone has to move to san bruno or hayward, they are not being displaced. these places are just a few miles away. in other cities, due to the geographic size, oakland, northern San Mateo and other areas would be part of the city.

        • Posted by Anon

          “would be good if people began to think more of SF as part of the Bay Area instead of an island”. Well said!

  6. Posted by Anon

    Where are all the Web 2.0 naysayers? Not a one came back to own their scores of rudely delivered, foolish mistakes. Population shrinking, people moving to suburbs, SF market ruined forever, equated to everything, and on and on?

    • Posted by Jaque Ciraque

      “Where are all the Web 2.0 naysayers?”


      • Posted by two beers

        uh, get back to me when twitter, yelp, etc, show a profit.;

        • Posted by anon

          They’ve brought billions to SF either way, so we win even if Wall Street loses.

        • Posted by Anon

          “Profit” can be a useful message board troll term, agreed. Yelp and Twitter, however? Twitter’s last two quarterly reports read like: even smaller growth than Wall St wants + eventually stop paying out so many hundreds of millions to employee packages = health profits. You probably won’t be waiting long.

          • Posted by anon

            So? They’ve already contributed billions to the SF economy. We already won, regardless of what happens next.

          • Posted by two beers

            They’ve done more harm than good to the SF economy (unless, by “SF economy,” you mean only the banker/developer/realtor/landlord axis). They’ve caused prices to skyrocket, forcing out longtime residents not in the tech industry (or in the banker/developer/realtor/landlord axis).

            The billions they’ve “brought” to SF hasn’t somehow been magically distributed among long-time residents, but instead, has driven prices through the roof, and the wages of existing residents have fallen off, so these “billions” have brought misery to tens of thousands of middle- and working-class Sf residents.

            And by “we won,” I assume you mean the small segment of the population in the banker/developer/landlord/realtor axis, many of whom (possibly even most) aren’t even Sf residents.

          • Posted by anon

            All retailers and restaurateurs have won. Government employees have won (since tax receipts have been much higher than they would have been). Anyone locally who works in tech has won (which is now a substantial percentage of the city).

            Etc, etc.

            Far, far more winners than losers in any boom that brings additional money to a city/region.

          • Posted by Jill

            The 35% of owners have won. The tech/banker/developers/biotech workers have won. Hotels and retail has won. The newly ployed due to new jobs have won. Govt coffers have won. We have enough to balance budget so social programs have won. Bike lanes have won. Crime per capita is down. Areas of city are nicer. More restaurants. I would say at least 80% of people have won , although many too uneducated or righteous to know it

          • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

            Jill, another under-reported windfall is the instant cash out that scores of long term tenants are getting to free up their units.

          • Posted by jill

            theres no shortage of winners. i think 2 beers had one too many

        • Posted by anon2

          High employment isn’t a vindication of some of these questionable business models. And profit being a “troll term” is ridiculous.

          Overall, I think it’s better for most (but not all) people that these companies are here. But I do think that it would be even better if these companies or some new entrants found firmer footing with solid profitable business models.

          Some money has obviously already been spent here, but you only need look at the employment graph (and that of rents) after the first bust to see that regardless of who already “won”, changes based on hype and expectations can be fickle.

          It does make you wonder a bit though if the BA could be sustained by a continuing chain of bubbles. What if these companies ultimately end up financial failures, but new companies are created faster then old ones wind down?

          Globally, there’s been a tide of money fleeing safe low yield assets and chasing all sorts of risk assets, stocks, hedge funds, corporate junk bonds, formerly troubled European bonds,… This has undoubtedly poured money into VC funds as well, I guess we’ll need to see if this appetite for risk continues and whether it’s necessary to keep the party going in the BA.

          • Posted by Anon

            Generally profit is a fair criteria. But in that instance? you truly question the use of “profit” with regard to Twitter, and Yelp? That was the context, and it seems obvious that that was the only leg that particular troll had to stand on with those two particular companies. Both of whom have certainly been factors in SF real estate over the last year and are doing quite well seems like. Twitter actually turned a profit the quarter before last, and if you take the time to read the quarterly statements, once they stop paying 100s of $m’s out to the employees who are buying all the real estate around here, they’ll be doing better. Unless of course everybody realizes that Twitter is stupid. Which is a legitimate concern, IMO. But the business model, as is? no problems.

      • Posted by EBGuy

        From SFGate: Tweets and likes don’t translate into buys

        Back in March, the San Francisco food delivery startup Eat24 staged a “breakup” with Facebook.
        The company had poured $1 million into Facebook advertising in 2013 alone and picked up more than 70,000 fans, but it wasn’t clear the investment was really getting anything.
        A month later, the company reported on the impact of the separation – leaving Facebook, it turned out, had no discernible consequence.

        I also like the (un?)virtuous cycle: VC money to startup money to Facebook.

        • Posted by EBGuy

          Okay, I take some of that back. From what I can tell, Eat24 hasn’t spent a dime of VC money, because they haven’t taken any VC money. Still, a harbinger of things to come?

  7. Posted by EBGuy

    I think it’s safe to say we’re no longer on Web 2.0. Maybe Mobile 1.0, AppNation or something of that ilk. You’ve got apps that grew organically out of small organizations and “mint money” like WhatsApp. Then you’ve got a lot of other stuff that seems eerily similar to Web 1.0 eyeball herding. Except this time VC money is subsidizing credit card users and merchants (Square) or bribing drivers from taxi companies (Uber & Lyft). What can go wrong?

    • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

      Agreed it’s a bit frothy on the tech side, but a few of these apps are actually leveraging technology to change the way business is being made. The original web bubble was “1 – create, 2 – ???, 3 – Profit”. Today the rationale is all about displacing older business models and making things more fluid.

      • Posted by jack

        1 – create, 2 – Displace older business models of going to brick and mortar to shop for pet supplies, and make payment and delivery process more fluid, 3 – Profit.

        1 – create Yo app 2 – Displace older business models of sending unnecessary follow-on’s after a salutation, and make being connected more fluid, 3 – Profit.

        I kid about Yo app, of course.


      • Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

        Uh huh. I, like jack, believed that the existence of the ‘Yo’ app was proof positive that we are reliving the last days of the late stages of the Roman Empire, and that the patent ridiculousness of most of these mobile-app-based businesses in the last few years just couldn’t get any more absurd.

        And then I heard about MonkeyParking. Yes, that indeed is “changing the way business is being made”, if by “business”, you mean doing anything to make money regardless of whether or not it is legal.

        I’m sure their next round of funding will push the valuation into the $100M range.

  8. Posted by Anon

    Yeah right “many”or even “most” of the developers, landlords and realtors don’t even live in SF! Cause they’re all Chinese, right? Hahaha. And if you can’t see some of the positive changes that have been wrought all around town, you’re deluding yourself. Mid market ring a bell? Yes it isn’t all rosy. Yes things are too expensive and some change has happened too quickly. But on “economy” ? Stop lying. If you don’t acknowledge the absolute goosing that the service sector has seen, which is the sector that holds the most SF jobs, you’re only lying and nothing more.

  9. Posted by Jill

    Biotech and life science often overlooked here due to tech. But The Bay Area is the epicenter and it’s also booming like never before

    62 life science iPos in 1st half of 2014

    • Posted by Jimmy The House Flipper

      Do you “tech” as in Mobile advertising platforms? Probably the lowest-tech product one could ever conceive of.

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