SFCED | San Francisco Center for Economic Development


Bay Area Job Market Stumbles, but Experts Say It’s Still Leading the California Economy

The Bay Area job market stumbled in February but the region continued to outpace the state and nation in job growth, a report released Friday showed.

Employers shed more than 2,000 jobs in the Bay Area during February, breaking a 19-month streak of job gains, according to this newspaper’s analysis of figures from the state’s Employment Development Department.

But over the past year, job growth in the South Bay and San Francisco metro areas was more than twice as fast as the countrywide rate, and even the struggling East Bay is growing more quickly than the United States overall.

“The tech rebound is firmly in place,” said Stephen Levy, director of the Palo Alto-based Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy.

Job totals over the 12 months that ended in February grew 3.5 percent in the San Francisco metro region, 3.1 percent in the South Bay, and 2.1 percent in the East Bay. The overall Bay Area job market expanded by 2.9 percent.

In contrast, the United States job market grew at a 1.5 percent annual rate, and California by 2.1 percent.

“The Bay Area, and particularly, the South Bay and San Francisco, are the epicenter for social media, mobile and Internet commerce,” said Michael Bernick, a research fellow with the Milken Institute and a former EDD director. “These strengths are why the Bay Area outpaces the state and the nation.”

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Bay Area Job Market