Having increased by an upwardly revised 3,400 in December, the net number of people living in San Francisco with a paycheck ticked up by 1,100 in January to (a downwardly revised) 544,800.  But with an upwardly revised 564,200 people in the labor force, the local unemployment rate inched up from 3.0 to 3.4 percent, with 26,000 fewer employed people in San Francisco than there were prior to the pandemic and 19,700 fewer people in the labor force but 46,100 more employed residents in the city than there were at the start of last year.

At the same time, the number of East Bay residents with a paycheck dropped by 11,100 in January to 1,496,100, which still equates to 86,000 more employed residents than there were at the start of last year but 63,400 fewer than there were prior to the pandemic, with 40,100 fewer people in the labor force for an (upwardly revised) unemployment rate of 4.7 percent.

While employment in San Mateo inched up by 900 in January, employment in Santa Clara dropped by 5,500.  And as such, while there were 98,000 more employed people in the Valley (1,432,500) than there were at the start of last year, there were still 45,600 fewer employed people than there were prior to the pandemic, with 34,600 fewer people in the labor force for an average unemployment rate of 3.2 percent.

Total employment across Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties inched up by 800 in January to a downwardly revised 426,300, which is 13,700 higher than at the start of last year but still 27,400 lower than prior to the pandemic with 24,500 fewer people in the combined labor force (441,900) for an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent.

As such, while nearly 500,000 jobs have been recovered across the Bay Area since local employment bottomed in the second quarter of 2020, there are still 162,400 fewer employed Bay Area residents (3,899,700) than there were prior to the pandemic having hit (4,062,100), having slipped by 13,800 in January, and the labor force is still down by 118,700 for an average unemployment rate of 3.4 percent.

12 thoughts on “Bay Area Employment Slipped in January”
  1. Our economy is floundering, our storefronts are sitting vacant, our downtown is empty, our overdose deaths are the highest in the country — but hey, we did really well on Covid! Let’s all pat ourselves on the back for listening to the science!!!!

    1. Our economy is fine, our storefronts are coming back daily, our downtown needs fixing, our overdose deaths are a massive problem. We did well on Covid, truly. Not sure why you link disparate things and try to finish with an unearned sardonic quip, but whatever.

      1. Our city’s response to Covid was the root cause for the problems I listed. These are not disparate things I am linking. They are directly related.

      2. Pean says that because if you are a hammer, everything is a nail. There is a segment of the population which will never ever under any circumstances stop complaining about wearing a mask.

    2. The thing is, even if it were true that our economy is floundering, it can get better in a short period of time. Even if we concede, for the sake of argument, that the policies that The City enacted to control the spread of COVID-19 resulted in some increase in vacant storefronts, those storefronts can get reoccupied over time once those temporary policies are rescinded.

      Assuming the stats captured by the Johns Hopkins tracker are up-to-date, SF’s per capita death rate is about .08%, and US wide it is about 0.25%, and thus San Francisco should pat itself on the back for acting in accordance with the science because once you contract COVID and die, you don’t come back.

      Pean Dreston’s appeal to sarcasm and snark seems to rely on the assumption that having full storefronts and an expanding economy are more important that the lives saved by The City’s policies to confront the pandemic. They are not.

      My guess is that Pean can’t understand this because he owns some kind of a service business that was negatively impacted by the aforementioned policies, and puts his own pecuniary interests above the lives of his fellow city dwellers who would have succumbed to COVID had those policies not been in place. If that’s true, the members of the petite bourgeoisie have even worse ethics than I imagined.

      1. Pean implies that the rise in overdose deaths are related to the Covid lockdowns though so the ethics in question aren’t that simple.

      2. There are many confounding variables as to why SF had a lower death rate (younger, healthier, professional population that can WFH). Also, we have a more affluent and insured population with access to great healthcare.

        I would be careful about patting ourselves on the back when it comes to Covid. Our kids, city, and economy have suffered greatly. Sacrificing kids for the elderly and the cost/benefit should be studied in the future. Most would side with the kids.

        I agree with the Pean (great name btw) but SF has been known to be smug.

          1. Mostly leadership. Breed shutdown the city before the outbreak got out of hand and orchestrated fairly unified and effective, at least for SF, message and policies. Contrast with De Blasio is in article at link.

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