Slight Rise in California Unemployment
While the outlook for job growth in the Bay Area is significantly brighter than the rest of California, Friday’s numbers show the fragile state of the economic recovery. Fortunately, other recent indicators point to healthy growth in the coming months in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and the East Bay, which should keep the outlook bright in our real estate markets.
Unemployment in California held steady at 10.9 percent in January and February before March’s rise to 11 percent, the EDD reported. That’s still a big improvement over March 2011, when unemployment stood at 11.9 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate, meanwhile, dropped to 8.2 percent in March, from 8.3 percent in February.
Looking closer to home:
- Marin County posted the lowest unemployment rate in the state, at 7 percent in March. That’s up from 6.6 percent in February.
- San Francisco unemployment stood at 8.1 percent, up from 8 percent in February.
- Napa County unemployment rose to 9 percent, from 8.9 percent in February.
- Sonoma County saw its unemployment rate rise 0.2 percentage point to 9.5 percent.
- Alameda County unemployment rose to 9.7 percent in March, from 9.5 percent.
- Contra Costa County unemployment rose to 9.9 percent in March, from 9.6 percent in February.
On their own, Friday’s unemployment numbers don’t suggest trouble ahead. Indeed, across the country, 30 states recorded decreased unemployment numbers for March, while California and seven other states posted small increases. Twelve states and the District of Columbia had no change.
In the Bay Area, growth in Internet, computer and other high-tech industries continues unabated, and home-sale forecasts suggest 2012 will be our strongest year since 2005.