San Francisco Employment

Employment in San Francisco has hit another all-time high as the number of city residents with paychecks increased by 4,300 in October and now totals 481,900 with an unemployment rate of 4.3 percent, the lowest unemployment rate since 2008.

That’s 25,500 more residents employed in San Francisco than at the same time last year.  And that’s and 16,400 more people than were employed in the city at the height of the dot-com peak in December 2000 when the unemployment rate measured 3 percent based on a labor force of 480,000 versus 503,800 last month, 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 74,200 fewer San Francisco residents were employed than today.

The unemployment rates in Marin and San Mateo were unchanged in October, holding at 3.9 percent and 4.1 percent respectively, while the unadjusted unemployment rate for California ticked up from 6.9 to 7.0 percent.

Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by c_q

    great news, but I wonder how many of the people formerly unemployed got jobs in SF or moved elsewhere due to high costs – and someone else replaced them who had a job.

    In other words, how does the employment rate compare amongst tech vs non-tech jobs?

    • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

      Following that logic what we need is a 2008 recession to make everything affordable again! In all seriousness just try and find anyone to fix or clean up your place and look at their rates. Or look at menus and compare them with just 5 years ago. This wealth find its way into the rest of the economy.

  2. Posted by Name

    This is bad news for SF! Leno for mayor!

    • Posted by AnalyzeVotes

      Why???

      If Leno means bad economy, better send him to the mars.

  3. Posted by spencer

    this is great news! i hope our elected officials use the increased tax revenue for infrastructure improvements. the roads are in horrible condition, and our mass transit is the worst of any major city in the US.

    • Posted by Conifer

      How can it be the worst? Transit first! Make car drivers miserable! With policies like that it must be the best mass transit system.

      • Posted by lyqwyd

        Sorry Conifer, Prop L lost big time. Thankfully your camp is a small minority of SF.

        • Posted by spencer

          30+% is not that small of a minority. the problem is no one knows who’s voting these days since the turnout is so low. with a high turnout and a clear bill, there would be a large vote for making auto use easier. it doesnt have to come at the expense of transit. transit should be moved underground

          • Posted by lyqwyd

            You guys have been saying you are the silent majority for years, but the election clearly put the nail in the coffin of that claim. Prop L got TROUNCED.

    • Posted by anon

      Um, seems like you haven’t been to many of the major cities in the US that lack transit systems of any scope at all…

  4. Posted by Mike Machado

    Great News for San Francisco! It’s an exciting time to be here.

    • Posted by two beers

      Yes, economic bubbles are exhilarating.

      Where’s my Uber?

  5. Posted by anon$random

    the horror of it all! this prosperity is killing us.

    • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

      Very true. I will have to take swimming lessons from Scrooge McDuck…

  6. Posted by Sally

    Time to raise the tents! Only 3,000 condos coming on the market a year.

    • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

      Done that already 😉 This is great time to be a market rate landlord in SF.

  7. Posted by Sally

    I mean RENTS! Lol

    • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

      I quite like the unintended irony of the “tents” typo. 🙂

  8. Posted by two beers

    The barefaced gloating here is remarkable.

    Anyone else notice how the slope in the graph is longer and steeper than the late ’90s run-up (how did that end again?), and longer and almost as steep as the late ’00s run up (how did that end again?)?.

    Party like it’s 1999 and 2007!

    • Posted by anon

      Yes, it would be much better if we were still stuck at lower levels of employment but had a “less steep” run up. Your disdain for those with new jobs disgusts me.

      • Posted by two beers

        Most of the new jobs are going to newly-arrived college kids who are driving out the middle class.

        Just like 1999/2000, those jobs are going to vanish when this one crashes, and the U-Hauls will be lining up once again.

        It’s an an illusory, destructive economy. It’s a boom and bust financialized economy, not a sustainable productive one. Sure, a very small percentage of the population is making wads, but the economy sucks for the vast majority of the population, and the middle class is being destroyed.

        Ooh, Blue Apron is here! They’re bringing ingredients AND a recipe for one meal right to my door! Get in now or be priced out forever!

        • Posted by San FronziScheme

          Wow, someone needs a hug. Yes 10 ideas will come up and 7 will not make it, 2 will quietly survive and 1 will be the next Apple or Facebook or Google. What matters is trying. In the mean time jobs are created and many things will stick.

          Not everyone cashes out on the good times. I arrived in SF in 2006, started renting, saw rents increase, was a major bear from 2007-2010 on SS. I could have stayed put and enjoy cheap controlled rent today. But instead I waited for the market to crash, bought in 2010 and am collecting great market rent right now with kick-ass equity. I do save up for when the market will tank, but I think we have another 18-24 months or growth left in this economy. Tech will hurt, but not ALL of tech.

        • Posted by spencer

          “Sure, a very small percentage of the population is making wads, but the economy sucks for the vast majority of the population,”

          you ust be joking. I would say 85% of business are being helped by this booming economy and 96% of willing workers in the city are employed thanks to the boom. How is the middle class with increased wages and job secruity being hurt? The only costs that are out of line in SF compared to most other areas in the country is housing. And housing should be thought of as regional. there are still many places in the bay area where the middle class can afford to buy.

          this boom is good for the vast majority of people. I sense a lot of resnetment and jealousy in your posts. Im not a tech person, but I am thankful for the tech economy every day.

    • Posted by Anon

      Why don’t you explain why 1999 is similar to 2007 is similar to 2014, first? Because you’re trying to posit something quite dubious and then throw an unearned sarcastic barb.

      • Posted by two beers

        I didn’t spell it out because it’s obvious to anyone who hasn’t drunk the kool-aid.

        1999 = dotcom bubble.
        2007 = housing bubble #1
        201? = dotcom bubble #2 + housing bubble #2 + the biggest global financial bubble ever.

        The Fed’s answer is always to blow the bubbles bigger and bigger.

        Each successive bubble exceeds the previous one by orders of magnitude.

        Volatility at the top (huge increases plus huge cuts) is obvious now, and the smart money is getting out. The only question is when, not if, this mother of all bubbles craters.

        • Posted by JR "Bob" Dobbs

          Looks like someone spends too much time reading zerohedge. Don’t tell us next to buy bitcoin and gold.

          Yeah, there are a number of tech companies that are going to crash hard – my bet is those that have never earned a nickel and just lose more the bigger they get. But unlike 1999 (when NONE of the dot-com companies made a nickel), a large number of today’s big tech companies have great balance sheets and income statements – FB, GOOG, ORCL, APPL, VMW, etc. SF is right in the middle of this, which is great. We very well may see a tech correction, and the joke companies will crater. But they employ a relatively small number of SF residents. This is not dot-com 2 by any stretch.

          The 2007 housing crash had nothing to do with SF specifically, and while SF took a significant hit, it weathered it relatively well and bounced back remarkably quickly (not so with most of the rest of the US).

          If you are convinced armageddon is coming, it is pretty easy for you to put real money on that – and you’ll be fantastically rich on the other side, like those few who called the housing bust and bet on it.

          • Posted by two beers

            I’m the antithesis of a goldbug. You are incapable of perceiving criticism of financial capitalism as anything other goldbuggery or communism.

            I read the gold loons at zero hedge and mish for laughs, just as I read the petit-bandwagon-babbits here for laughs.

            If you want to get a clue about the economy, try Yves Smith, Dean Baker, Randall Wray, and Stephanie Kelton. Not a gold bug or commie in the lot.

          • Posted by San FronziScheme

            as I read the petit-bandwagon-babbits here for laughs.

            1) hate the game not the players
            2) you can start criticizing the game once you have played it in depth and have fathomed its subtlety. Until that time what you say has no weight. Being an outsider is easy.

  9. Posted by Dan

    Why not be happy about near full employment? I know a number of longtime San Franciscans who lost their rental homes during the busts, unable to pay rent. Economic busts are nothing to wish for.

    • Posted by two beers

      Economic busts are the inevitable consequences of overheated bubbles. Normal, healthy economies don’t have the kind of volatility we’ve had for the last twenty years. Finance has replaced productivity.

      • Posted by San FronziScheme

        healthy economies don’t have the kind of volatility we’ve had for the last twenty years.

        Nah, this is the way it has been going on for centuries. Tulip bulbs, Trade with India, Virginia colonies, railroad ventures, Panama Canal, Florida real estate, etc, etc… What matters is that what died in the previous cycle provides the fertile soil of the next run-up. The young and naive tech people from Tech bubble 1.0 are the ones who started this last tech cycle.

  10. Posted by two beers

    Got it. Because I don’t have skin in the game (I’m not a landlord, banker, developer, speculator, or realtor), I should keep my mouth shut. By the measure, you must believe that only criminals should adjudicate crime. Leave it to the pros!

    In other words, leave Wall St aloo-oone!

    • Posted by San FronziScheme

      You have a 100% level of certainty in your statements. How can you be certain of something if you’re not even participating. Do you have X-Ray vision or some sort of other super-power?

      In my old bear days I enjoyed reading ZeroHedge or Patrick.com and other bear blogs because they were spot-on for the 2006-2011 bear market. Then 2012 came and their clock hands didn’t move. Time to change the batteries on that clock. But hey, if we wait long enough this clock will be right once more.

      • Posted by two beers

        Per your handle, you show know a Ponzi, Fonzi. The Fed has kept money much cheaper for far longer than it ever has before. Massive excess liquidity causes asset bubbles when the productive economy has no supply constraints. It’s not much more complicated than that. We are seeing the consequences of the Fed’z ZIRP policy. What few expected was that the Fed would keep Wall St on life support at the expense of Main St for this long. Playing this game is extremely dangerous. You can’t beat the big boys at their own game.

        http://www.counterpunch.org/wp-content/dropzone/2014/11/uriedems11.jpg

        QED

        • Posted by San FronziScheme

          20Y and so far so good

          • Posted by anon

            Looking at one and only one variable is extremely, extremely dangerous.

        • Posted by anon

          Money has not been “cheap”. Under your bizarre assertion, money was super cheap in the depression and for the last two decades in Japan, but “expensive” during the inflationary 70s. Perhaps you should learn a bit more about monetary policy instead of reasoning from a nominal interest rate.

    • Posted by spencer

      if you were an investor, either long or short the housing market, that would count too. Your views are so strong, it seems that you would use it to your advantage and put money behind your doomsday views. That would give you more credibility.

  11. Posted by rabbits

    The only folks I’ve encountered actively hoping for a downturn in SF are long-term tenants feeling vulnerable. Their below-market rent makes the prospect of losing a job in a downturn seem not too terrible, and perhaps then the landlord won’t think of evicting them. It’s really a sad position when you think about it, as everywhere else in the world would like to be San Francisco right now, and we’ve got this population of people here bemoaning the good fortune of this region.

    And by the way, I’m all for prosecuting Wall St, reforming corporate America, and strengthening the safety net. But this is one of the few places on earth that is grow organically through technology and productivity advances … sad to have so many Luddites in our midst.

  12. Posted by AnalyzeVotes

    “Employment in San Francisco has hit another all-time high as the number of city residents with paychecks increased by 4,300 in October and now totals 481,900”.

    What does this mean? Do we have 481,900 employed San Francisco citizen? Or we have 481,900 jobs in San Francisco with some of the workers commuting to east bay and Peninsula as well?

    • Posted by AnalyzeVotes

      Oops, read again and it does say “number of city residents with paychecks”.

      I have to recognize that San Francisco is a great city at the moment. I have to applaud the mayor and the city government for the very real achievement.

  13. Posted by Paul

    Good to have jobs but all these employees live where?
    More jobs equals more people – rising rents, longer commutes, lower quality of life for residents of the region
    The City really needs to build more affordable housing.

    • Posted by spencer

      no they dont. that raises the prices for everyone.

      some people can live in the outskirts. not everyone can afford SF and not everyone needs to live here.

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