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About this blog: I grew up in Los Angeles and moved to the area in 1963 when I started graduate school at Stanford. Nancy and I were married in 1977 and we lived for nearly 30 years in the Duveneck school area. Our children went to Paly. We moved ...  (More)

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Stronger Than Expected Job Growth in Bay Area and State

Uploaded: Mar 23, 2013
California's job growth was stronger than previously reported. The stronger gains are seen throughout the state. Moreover, the upward revision in state job totals comes in sectors important for future economic growth—professional services, construction, tourism and foreign trade. There was also an upward revision to manufacturing jobs.

California outpaced the nation in job growth in 2012 and that honor was shared among many metro areas in the state. Stories about California's economic demise are simply wrong according to the newly released data.

Job Growth Throughout California

% Change Job Gain Upward Revision
Jan 12-13 Jan 12-13 From Previous Report

U.S. 1.5%
California 2.0% 286,100 129,100
Los Angeles 1.9% 73,800 22,200
Orange 2.2% 30,600 20,700
Riv-San Ber 2.1% 24,200 15,200
San Francisco 4.3% 41,300 19,100
Oakland 2.6% 24,500 20,100
San Jose 3.2% 28,600 1,200
San Diego 2.5% 30,600 8,500
Sacramento 1.5% 11,900 12,500
Fresno 1.7% 4,800 -900
Bakersfield 2.3% 5,400 9,900
San Luis Obispo 7.6% 7,400 4,700

Source: EDD

The Bay Area is the state's job growth leader with the San Francisco metro area named by BLS as the fastest growing metropolitan division economy in the nation with a 4.3% gain. The East Bay returned to job growth with a 2.6% increase, far above the national 1.5% gain. The San Jose metro area added 28,600 jobs for a 3.2% gain.

The Bay Area added 185,000 jobs between December 2010 and December 2012 and 113,000 jobs in the year ending December 2012. The Bay Area and Silicon Valley gains were led by software, computer services and othe professional services along with growth in tourism and a beginning rebound in construction.

Southern California economies outpaced the nation in 2012 as well with gains of 2.2% (+30,600 jobs) in Orange County, 1.9% (73,800 jobs) in Los Angeles County and 2.1% (24,200 jobs) in the Inland Empire. Gains in tourism, construction, professional services and trade helped Southern California.

San Diego County has strong growth of 30,600 jobs in the past 12 months or +2.5%

San Luis Obispo County led the nation with a 7.6% job gain.

Upward revisions to previous estimates for both 2011 and 2012 pushed job growth higher throughout the state. For example Los Angeles County is now reported to have 22,200 more jobs in December 2012 than previously thought.

Unemployment rates remain high throughout the state and in all areas except the Bay Area, there is still far to go in reversing recession job losses. The Bay Area should regain pre-recession job levels in the next three months. The San Francisco and San Jose metro areas, the heart of Silicon Valley, have already reached pre-recession job peaks.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by faulty Walty, a resident of ,
on Mar 23, 2013 at 12:53 pm

It's Jerry Brown's fault.


Posted by Make room, a resident of ,
on Mar 23, 2013 at 2:02 pm

So, where are we going to put all these people? There is very little room for building!

Posted by stephen levy, a resident of ,
on Mar 24, 2013 at 9:01 am

stephen levy is a registered user.

The "where are we going to put these people" is the challenge that communities are dealing with and the rationale for the new One Bay Area plan.

My point here is that the job growth is real, it is sought by businesses and welcomed by most communities. It is also the best hope for those who are unemployed or underemployed to improve their income.

The answer to "no room for building" is yes, but with the but being think up not out.

Town Square and other forums have had long debates about finding hosuing for the new workers and the renewed growth in populaiton and immigration to Santa Clara County and the region.

But, I hope, the job growth data is beyond dispute. 185,000 jobs in the past two years and plans all around us for expansion. It is real.

Posted by education, a resident of ,
on Mar 24, 2013 at 9:36 am

The solution is to improve our education system so that local people can fill these jobs without increasing the demand for housing. The problem is that corporations too often feel the need to import workers from overseas.

Yes, corporations do often prefer foreign workers to locals because the foreigners may be cheaper or easier to control (since the visa is owned by the company, not the worker). We do need more government oversight to make sure the worker visa program is not abused.

Posted by jake, a resident of ,
on Mar 24, 2013 at 9:57 am

Stephen, the story is incomplete without telling the folks how well we pay. For example, we have street sweepers get paid over 100k in the city . For VTA, One Bus driver earns up to 200k. 75 of them are sure over 100k. People have a skill of answering phone calls are also pay well in these places!. It's a gold rush time for the SV

Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of ,
on Mar 24, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Paul Losch is a registered user.


I would be interested to learn about what sorts of jobs the Bay Area is generating. Selfishly speaking, the does appear a great need for the likes of Eric Schmidt of Google, albeit a greater need for programmers who know kn hours. Hard for an experienced executive to be brought on by the many start ups and early stage companies

Posted by education, a resident of ,
on Mar 24, 2013 at 7:28 pm

The Mercury-News has more details on what kinds of jobs are growing in the Bay Area: Web Link

Posted by Edward IV, a resident of ,
on Mar 24, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Employers have to import workers from overseas because the US is one of only Five governments in the whole world that does not provide a free college education for qualified native students!!! The other four are in sub-Saharan Africa!

It does not help that the UCs announced last fall that they were giving priority admission to overseas applicants because they pay a lot more money. The UCs claim they simply need the cash to pay professors who would otherwise go to the private schools and get paid more than the UCs can currently pay. Never mind that they are ignoring A LAW that gives top priority to qualified Ca residents!

A college education is now so expensive that it is reverting to being an option only for the rich. One has to be below the federal poverty level to get financial aid, so basically only the dirt poor and filthy rich can afford college, everyone in the middle being left out. Grants have waiting lists years and years long, and scholarships, unless one gets a full ride, are too little. Scholarships usually forbid the student to work, lest they lose the money. That is unrealistic!

Our government is too blind too see what their reluctance to finance higher education is doing to this country and its young people. If they do not make this investment in the future, we are open to a country run by foreigners from off-shore-- a sort-of fourth world power is what the US will be. This is humiliating, but apparently o guess and the President reckon that they will all be dead then anyway and just do not care.

Posted by Bob, a resident of ,
on Mar 25, 2013 at 2:13 pm

> Employers have to import workers from overseas
> because the US is one of only Five governments
> in the whole world that does not provide a free
> college education for qualified native students!!!

The failure rate of US Colleges is about 50%. If US gave away ?free college educations??then the failure rate would be no different.

The reality is that ?intelligence? needed to facilitate an ?education? is not uniformly distributed in the population. Having virtually everyone in the US claiming to have a BS (or better) who are innumerate, and more-of-less unemployable is not really a good use of public funds.

Posted by Edward IV, a resident of ,
on Mar 25, 2013 at 3:35 pm

The point is that the jobs of the future, and even most jobs that pay more than subsistence level pay, require a BS at the minimum. many require a minimum of an MS, according to Intel, Google, Adobe, Facebook, etc. a significant number prefer a PhD. How many parents can pay for that many years in college? How much student debt does that require, if one can get financial aid? Most med students now graduate with MILLIONS of dollars in student loan debt that they may never live long enough to pay off. That is limiting the number of doctors ( and nurses, for that matter) and that will soon be a public health crisis.

A truly healthy economy has jobs for every level of education, and a healthy middle class. We have neither of those. The middle class is a dying breed. Ecause not enough people can get enough education to get a job that pays enough money to ensure middle-class status. As a result, there is a huge empty gap between rich and poor developing, and those who are in the middle class are supporting the rich AND the poor, making them hard-pressed to retain their middle class status.

Read the WSj, the IBD, Barron's, and the Economist, Or, just look outside Palo Alto.

Posted by Bob, a resident of ,
on Mar 25, 2013 at 4:04 pm

> The point is that the jobs of the future, and even most
> jobs that pay more than subsistence level pay, require
> a BS at the minimum.

This seems to be true in "the professions"--but not so much in the rest of the jobs people will be performing.

Look that the skills that people take out of a BS--and see how many of those skills actually apply to a real world job. Outside of engineering, and computer science and perhaps finance--it's really hard to see people using the education they received in college for much that rubbing shoulders at cocktail parties.

Posted by Mr.Recycle, a resident of ,
on Mar 25, 2013 at 6:29 pm

California still has the highest unemployment rate in the country at 9.8%. So I'd save the self congratulations.

Posted by Bob, a resident of ,
on Mar 26, 2013 at 10:24 am

Unemployment Creeps Up in Palo Alto:
Web Link

So, Mr. Levy--did you notice this statistic before you wrote up this posting?

Can you explain any unemployment in Palo Alto?

Posted by stephen levy, a resident of ,
on Mar 26, 2013 at 5:41 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

The article confuses seasonally adjusted rates (that take inot account normal seasonal variations like post holiday layoffs) with non-seasonally adjusted data.

The Palo Alto data is not seasonally adjusted.

The CA data not seasonally adjusted for December 2012 is 9.8% versus January 2013 of 10.4% or up .6%. The seasonally adjusted rate, not comparable to the PA rate did stay the same at 9.8%.

The article compares apples to oranges so to speak and has no informative value at all.

Posted by stephen levy, a resident of ,
on Mar 29, 2013 at 11:53 am

stephen levy is a registered user.

Another good jobs report for CA today +41,200 jobs and the unemployment rate, still high, fell to 9.6% from 9.8% and is the lowest in four years. CA added over 293,000 jobs for the past 12 months and the state's growth rate was 2.3% compared to the national 1.5% gain.

Still a ways to go but headed in the right direction. The Bay Area continues to be the state job growth leader and the Bay Area unemployment rate is now below the natioanl average.

The Palo Alto unemployment rate in February was 3.9% following the normal pattern of falling from the January estimate, which is influenced by post holiday layoffs

Posted by Garrett, a resident of ,
on Mar 30, 2013 at 3:35 pm

How about this, my brother told me that grads would rather enter the finance world, my nephew graduated. He became a engineer, may go to China to work or Africa. Civil Engineer to be precise, other nephew also became engineer.

Why do we pay street sweepers loads of money, look at rents from studio to family sized homes. Then check out how,many are for rent. Then move on to new working stiffs 3 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom new homes in Palo Alto, Sunnyvale and Fremont

Posted by bru, a resident of ,
on Mar 30, 2013 at 8:38 pm

bru is a registered user.

Huh ... on March 26th an article here posted by editor says the unemployment for the city and country is up!


Unemployment rate edges up in Palo Alto, county
Around Town, posted by Editor, Palo Alto Online, on Mar 26, 2013 at 12:47 pm

While the California unemployment rate stayed flat in January at 9.8 percent, the rate crept up in parts of the Bay Area, including Palo Alto and Santa Clara County as a whole, according to data released by the state's Employment Development Department.


Well ?????

Posted by stephen levy, a resident of ,
on Mar 31, 2013 at 11:56 am

stephen levy is a registered user.


The not seasonally adjusted rates normally go up in January reflecting some post holiday layoffs. The state rate reported in the article was seasonally adjusted and not comparable to the Bay Area rates.

In february the PA unemployment rate and rates in the county and throughout the region declined as job growth continues.

The confusion spread by the editor post was repeated unfortunately in other papers.

We will see if the editor posts the better February news.

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