Having dropped in January, the number of people living in San Francisco with a paycheck increased by 7,100 in February to 510,200, which is 31,500 more employed people than there were last April, at the height of pandemic unemployment locally, but still 60,600 fewer employed residents than there were at the same time last year.

And with the Labor Force in San Francisco having increased by 4,800 last month to 541,100, which is up from a pandemic low of 536,300 in January, the local unemployment rate has inched down to 5.7 percent, but with 42,800 fewer people in the labor force than there were at the same time last year.

At the same time, the number of employed East Bay residents increased by 20,900 last month to 1,443,500, which is 139,800 more than at the height of the pandemic-driven unemployment but still 116,000 fewer than at the same time last year, with 47,200 fewer people in the labor force for an unemployment rate of 7.1 percent.

Employment increased in both San Mateo and Santa Clara counties last month as well and there are now 104,000 more people employed in the Valley (1,365,800) than there were at the height of pandemic but still 112,300 fewer than there were at the same time last year, with 72,000 fewer people in the labor force (1,442,600) for an average unemployment rate of 5.3 percent.

A total of 45,600 jobs have been recovered across Marin, Napa and Sonoma, but the number of employed North Bay residents is still down by 41,100, year-over-year, with 27,000 fewer people in the combined labor force (439,400) for an average unemployment rate of 6.2 percent.

And as such, there were 320,900 more employed Bay Area residents at the end of last month (3,732,100) than there were at the height of the pandemic-driven unemployment, and prior to the Bay Area having started to reopen, but still 330,000 fewer than at the same time last year, with 198,300 fewer people in the labor force for a combined unemployment rate of 6.1 percent.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Notcom

    California in general, and the Bay Area in particular (and ‘greater’ SF most particularly of all) are lagging in recovery. Whether this marks some kind of turning point or not we’ll just have to see. I’ve no doubt everyone has their own opinion(s).

    • Posted by Ohlone Californio

      Seems like Uber is going to occupy its South Beach offices after all. Many on here said it would not.

    • Posted by Oakland lover

      So I find this very interesting data.

      Basically half the drop in jobs is already recovered. Within 1 year. That’s huge.

      So fair to say, assuming vaccines work and normalcy fully resumes soon, pray and give thanks and respects to your own deity or personal Oracle…

      Anyways at this trajectory on full reopen soon why wouldnt the other half come back in the next year or so. And then it’s back to crazy peak capacity again and boom time is back. Seems likely

      Hopefully they’ll resume Oceanwide soon. I am so sad that tower is just stubs and on hold.

      DTO is looking great. Hopefully the new A’s project keeps progressing.

      Mission bay giants joint project kicking it. Good times ahead!

      New Bart trans bay tube. So much to look forward to!

      • Posted by two beers

        So much class war, so little time!

        You, too, may be suffering from premature triumphalism if you display such symptoms as irrational expectations and distorted values formed by a decades-long historic asset bubble that fostered the extreme wealth inequality currently ripping society apart, or the need to ignore street-level reality and spin extraneous details into an incoherent narrative.

      • Posted by Notcom

        There was some even more interesting (IMHO) data originally offered in my post. according to a BANG story dated 03/18:

        – only 13.3% of Jobs in the west bay
        – and 30.7% of south bay jobs have been recovered (this was thru January, and things have improved since then…tho according to the graph, above, not all that much)

        This strikes me as a lot less impressive – namely about 2/3 less impressive – than “about half already recovered”… of course I would describe myself as a “realistically realist’, so take that as you will.

        • Posted by SocketSite

          As noted, you’re working with old, and seemingly incomplete, data. The relative recoveries of employment lost during the pandemic, as of mid-February:

          San Francisco: 34.2 percent recovered
          East Bay: 54.7 percent
          North Bay: 52.6 percent
          South Bay: 48.1 percent

          • Posted by Notcom

            Thanks! I’m not sure I’d say “incomplete” – well, beyond the obvious that I gave only two areas and for two months ago – as much as the perpetual problem that we’re often talking about different things: employment measured by location of job vs. residence of the jobholder; SF looks pretty good by one measure, but less so in others, presumably b/c many of the jobs that haven’t come back yet were held by people who don’t live in SF.

          • Posted by SocketSite

            As always, we track employment based on place of residence versus place of work (as that’s what drives the residential markets). And you’re likely quoting an “analysis” of seasonally adjusted numbers (which would be a mistake in this context).

          • Posted by Notcom

            And that’s fine for a real estate site – or at least the residential component of it; but the office leasing market, and the recovery of much of the sales tax revenue, is going to be dependent on the return-to-work of people who work in SF…but don’t necessarily live there.

  2. Posted by Oakland lover

    Care to elaborate on that? I walk around Oakland and SF all the time – it’s not perfect for sure but it’s reality and no different that the problems all big cities face.

    I’m an optimistic realist. I’m very attuned to the history here and I have no apologies for what I believe is great progress in this amazing area we live in. I’m always open to all views.

    I come from an immigrant first gen discriminated against Mexican family. I have strong roots in equality for all regardless of race gender background etc. because I’ve lived it. I’ve seen it.

    I have no privilege beyond working middle class as a child and have the great blessing to be raised to see all people as equal and believe in the American dream because I saw it happen first hand in my discriminated against parents who succeeded despite established prejudices in the system. Because they had grit to do thrive. And never forget their poor less fortunate roots. I’m so fortunate to have those values instilled in me.

    I’m pro education, pro development, pro environmentalism and most of all pro giving all a right to go for it – the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness but you have work for it

    So, ya. I’m super optimistic about what’s happening here in the bay and I do firmly believe we can all benefit from development.

    • Posted by Brian M

      If the Red Guards are not in charge and “developers” and “realtors” and anyone, really, not seeking “profit” are not in reeducation camps, twobeers is not happy.

      His name is odd. Why should he be allowed TWO beers when there are people of (insert ever more finely parsed victim groups) who have not yet been allowed ONE? I think the Red Guard needs to visit his tent (because he obviously cannot be living in a bourgeoise house or apartment, can he?)

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