September 2015

September 2015


The unemployment rate in California dropped to 6.2 percent in July, down from 7.4 percent during the same period last year. All Bay Area counties posted slight decreases over the previous year, and the lowest unemployment rates statewide were once again in the Bay Area counties of Marin (3.7 percent), San Mateo (3.6 percent) and San Francisco (3.8 percent).Elsewhere in California, notable county unemployment rates included Orange (4.7 percent), San Diego (5.4 percent), Los Angeles (7.5 percent) and Sacramento (6.2 percent).

Bay Area Unadjusted Unemployment Rates, July 2015

Historical Unemployment Rates: California, San Francisco, U.S.

Source: EDD, Monthly


According to DataQuick, the median price paid for a Bay Area home rose 7.5 percent from $615,000 in July 2014 to $661,000 in July 2015. July 2014 marked the Bay Area’s first posting above the half-million-dollar mark in nearly five years.

“Low mortgage rates and stronger consumer confidence are supporting a resurgence in home sales. Adding to overall housing demand is the benefit of a better labor market, which has provided millennials the financial independence to form new households and escape ever-rising rental costs,“ said Anand Nallathambi, the president and CEO of CoreLogic.

A total of 9,245 new and resale houses and condos were sold in the nine-county Bay Area in July. That was up 10 percent from 8,402 the year before.

Bay Area Home Sales: Volume and Median Price

San Francisco Residential Market Overview

Commercial Real Estate

In San Francisco, the overall vacancy dropped from 8.9% to 6.4% from Q2 2014 to 2015. The YTD Leasing Activity dropped 40.8 percent. Direct Asking Rents for Class A, downtown space is $64.74 per square foot/year.

Venture Capital Update

Growth and Innovation at SFO

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has been named “Best Airport in the Americas” by the readers of Frequent Business Traveler, an online publication written for and by the world’s most experienced and savvy international travelers.

Qantas airlines will resume non-stops flights from SFO six times per week beginning December 20, and the airport also welcomes Copa Airlines with non-stop flights to Panama City, Panama beginning September 15.

SFO was honored with a 2015 “Best of California” award by the Center for Digital Government, which recognizes public-sector employees and local government organizations for their contribution to information technology issues. The airport was cited creating an Application-Based Commercial Transport System, which tracks app-enabled commercial vehicles operating within the airport boundaries.

Source: Flysfo


Now in its fifth year, Area Development magazine’s “Leading Locations” study ranks areas according to four key factors business leaders use when considering growth and expansion—prime work force, economic strength, year-over-year growth, and “recession-busting” attributes. Western regions dominate the list again this year, with San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City ranking fourth among big cities and fifth overall.

Top 30 Big Cities

  1. Denver-Aurora-Broomfield
  2. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown
  3. Grand Rapids-Wyoming
  4. San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City
  5. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara

Source: Area Development

California SAT Scores Twice as High as Texas

A new report by the College Board shows that while California and Texas have similar demographics, California is outperforming Texas on SAT scores. California’s scores are 20 points higher in math and 25 points higher in reading. Additionally, 42.1% of California students taking the test qualified for a low income fee waiver, as opposed to 30% in Texas, signaling a higher participation level among low-income populations in California.


Bay Area Tops Employee Satisfaction Survey

San Francisco-based ranks San Jose and San Francisco #1 and #2 for employee job satisfaction in a June report of the 50 largest US metro areas. Seattle, Salt Lake City and Washington, D.C. rounded out the top five. Los Angeles placed 26th, Chicago 40th, and New York 44th. Glassdoor cites both San Jose and San Francisco as "recognized as global tech hubs and regions for innovation."


Bloomberg LP to Test Venture Capital Waters in San Francisco

Bloomberg LP is expected to launch a $75 million venture capital fund that will provide the financial information outlet with a window to the fast growing world of start-ups. Bloomberg Beta will operate as a separate legal entity from Bloomberg LP, and will be based in San Francisco.

Bloomberg Beta will invest in early stage start-ups (Series A), as well as provide seed investment. It will focus on start-ups that are producing insights from data and making the experience of work better, fund representatives said in a news release.

According to VentureBeat, the fund has already invested in start-ups Newsle, Nodejitsu, Codecademy, Errplane, and ProsperWorks.


SFCED Updates

Periodically, the SFCED provides updates of its three international programs.

Among the successes of LatinSF, launched in in September 2014:

      • Establishing 16 key partnerships with Latin American NGOs, trade and investment offices
      • Attracting 11 companies and organizations to locate in San Francisco

SFAsia, which also launched in 2014, has quickly built partnerships and closed deals, including:

      • Making 624 contacts representing 105 companies; 42 accelerators/VCs; 36 consulates, trade and commercial groups; and 34 local partners
      • Closed seven projects, representing approximately 36,000 square feet and 27 direct jobs

After starting in 2008, ChinaSF has become a national model for international economic
development public-private partnerships. Among its accomplishments:

      • Recruiting more than 55 companies to San Francisco
      • Creating more than 300 direct jobs
      • Providing an economic impact of more than $2 billion

Other highlights among current SFCED progams and initiatives include:

      • Planning for the 2016 international BIO conference in San Francisco on June 2016
      • Working with GoBiz to expand the iHub program
      • Leading the board of the Fashion Incubator San Francisco and lending support to Friends of the Film Commission
      • Partnering with the US Department of Commerce’s SelectUSA to market and generate leads globally

Get Inside Airbnb, Twitter, Pandora and 200 More at NewCo Festival

The SFCED is pleased to partner with NewCo, the festival that turns the conference model inside out. Instead of gathering in a big ballroom, NewCo goes inside the headquarters of the area’s most inspiring companies. Want to see what it’s like to attend? Check out this short video.
As a QuickFacts reader, you’re entitled to a 30% discount on tickets. Simply use the code `SFCED30’ when registering here.

What you can expect at NewCo:

  • 200+ companies invite you into their offices on October 6-8, 2015
  • Learn from the best entrepreneurs in an intimate setting
  • Get a peek into new product development and innovations
  • Experience behind-the-scenes tours of cutting edge work environments

NewCo attracts attendees from all around the world, and all company sessions have limited capacity.

Contact Us

QuickFacts is produced by the San Francisco Center for Economic Development, a 501(c)(3) non-profit division of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

For more information please contact:
Dennis Conaghan
Executive Director
+1 415.352.8819
235 Montgomery St., Ste. 760
San Francisco, CA 94104

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