San Francisco Employment 2000-2015

The number of people living in San Francisco with a job dropped by 1,600 in November to 534,800, the first November without a gain since 2012. But with the labor force having dropped by 2,100 as well, the unemployment rate in the city remained at 3.4 percent for the second month in a row, versus 3.2 percent in September which was the lowest unemployment rate in San Francisco since December 2000.

There are still 69,300 more people living in San Francisco with paychecks than there were at the height of the dot-com peak in 2000, which is up by 17,200 over the past year and an increase of 98,100 since January of 2010, a 23 percent increase in employment in just under six years according to data provided by California’s Employment Development Department. But the growth rate has been slipping.

At the same time, East Bay employment slipped by 1,200 in November to 1,309,600, with employment in Alameda County, which includes Oakland, accounting for half the loss and now measuring 785,300, which is still 11,900 higher versus the same time last year but the smallest year-over-year gain since early 2014.

Alameda County Employment 2000-2015

And with the labor force in Alameda County having decreased by 1,300 last month as well, the County’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.4 percent, down from 4.5 percent in October despite the drop in employment. The November drop in Alameda County employment was the first since 2008.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by seeing

    What I find interesting here is not this current news, but what I just noticed looking at the charts more closely — the City and region have been growing steadily since the recent low point of 2005 (the end of the Dot-Com bust slide), and that the “Great Recession” of 2008-2009 not only was a much more short-lived downward blip, but that, in San Francisco specifically, the low point at the bottom of the so-called Great Recession there were still many thousands of more jobs and employed residents (though higher unemployment rate) in the City than in 2005 at the bottom of the long post dot-com slide. Everyone talks about the City’s growth really picking up post-2009, but really it started in 2005 and has been steady upwards since.

    • Posted by san FronziScheme

      For me the inflexion point happened right around the time of the Google IPO. The success of the IPO was the nail in the coffin of the dot com bust. Confidence came back as people realized SF and the SV were at the core of an actual revolution.

  2. Posted by BayviewSF

    I am curious about the decline of the labor force. With job market still hot, is the decline of labor force mostly from retiring baby boomers? Unemployment rate is record low, and labor force has declined. Does it mean that companies need to hire more people from out of area?

    • Posted by Hunter

      I’m guessing it could also be a net negative of people moving from the Bay to cheaper regions as they are displaced by (a smaller number of) wealthier arrivals?

      • Posted by san FronziScheme

        The trend is still very positive. Yes some people are priced out and tired of paying more than 50% of their income in rent. But many others still come with great education and great jobs. If anything, the region is probably improving in overall quality of the labor force. We are absorbing the life-force of other states.

        • Posted by francis

          Would be useful to see if total income follows the employment trend, or is continuing to rise. Also, how does people driving part time for Uber factor into this?

    • Posted by curmudgeon

      You’re asking about a month to month change, and it’s not even worth asking; probably just noise in the data. On a year to year basic labor force is still growng. albeit slowly. You ARE correct that baby boomers are leaving the labor force, but on the other end the 20 something generation is now the largest single demographic group, so the labor force is being replenished on the other end.

      • Posted by SocketSite

        Looking at it another way, while employment in San Francisco dropped by 1,600 over the past three months, it increased by 6,000 over the same three months in 2014, by 2,500 over the same three months in 2013, by 6,100 in 2012, and by 6,300 in 2011.

        Prior to this year, the last time employment dropped from September through November in San Francisco was in 2010.

        • Posted by alberto rossi

          Sorry SocketSite, I think curmudgeon is right on this one: mostly just statistical noise, even on a quarterly basis

  3. Posted by Contrarian

    Tonight may have witnessed the historic event that makes Hawthorne and other Southern California tech suburbs the new center of scientific creativity….as the BBC posted….tonight was the most important moment since the moon landing….”tonight is an event that has changed the world, possibly in ways we can’t really know yet. Tonight moon bases, Mars, the asteroid belt have become near term human destinations. Space mining in now possible. We can mine Helium-3 on the moon for powering fusion reactors on Earth. All kinds of things have become feasible tonight.”

    I write this because nothing lasts forever…and while the Bay Area has suffered with the worst traffic and highest housing costs…the movement of scientific creative energy has already naturally begun to shift south to Los Angeles and San Diego. It was not an accident that Elon Musk moved to L.A.

  4. Posted by EBGuy

    Earth to Contrarian, Got CRISPR?

  5. Posted by Contrarian

    “Earth to” EBGuy, did you ever read or watch Elon Musk explain why he was one of the few to decline to get involve the CRISPR race because of what he calls “the Hitler problem”? He chose Space, sustainable energy, artificial intelligence, and the internet instead because of his ethical concerns about CRISPR. As many have mentioned, once you start editing genes to alter and shape humanity, the question becomes what is the “perfect” human? I am not against CRISPR but I do understand why many of the scientists are calling for a “pause” and more discussion as to the ethics involved.

    I mentioned Los Angeles above only in that Musk was interviewed before the launch as to why he located SpaceX in Southern California, and he brought up surveys as to where people wanted to live. Many Bay Areans might be surprised to learn that our high cost of housing, crowding and traffic issues are causing many to select not to live here.

    • Posted by SFrentier

      “Many Bay Areans might be surprised to learn that our high cost of housing, crowding and traffic issues are causing many to select not to live here.”

      Oh yes, and so cal doesn’t have traffic problems? Nor smog? Nor is it crowded? Nor are the desireable areas expensive?

      Dude, what were you smoking last night?

  6. Posted by HeadingSouth

    I would look at San Diego myself.

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