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By Steve Levy

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.