The state labor official’s report on the Bay Area job market shows a surge in employment fueled by hiring in the East Bay and South Bay. The tech industry led the hiring in February when 6,000 total jobs were added.
The South Bay added 2,100 positions and the East Bay added 3,300.
San Franciso’s job activity remained relatively flat during February. All figures are adjusted to account for seasonal factors.
The Bay Area’s job market hit record high levels of employment in February, with consistent jobs added over the first two months of the year. Beacon Economics claims the tech sector is responsible for the growth, accounting for 3,400 of the 6,000 jobs added, or roughly 57% of all jobs.
California gained 14,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in February, with unemployment rates dropping from 4.4% in January to 4.3% in February. The rate of unemployment in the state is at its lowest level since reporting began in 1976.
Facebook announced that the company has leased 1 million square feet of office space spanning over three big office buildings that will have room for 5,000 to 6,000 employees. The announcement is expected to keep the Bay Area’s hiring high into the middle of the year.
Facebook maintains the highest retention rates for employees in the area. Employees are known to work for multiple companies, acting as a resume builder, and stay at Facebook for just 2.02 years.
Google, which has the second highest retention rate of just 1.90 years, has also announced plans for a major expansion into San Jose and Sunnyvale. Apple is planning to potentially build another campus on 85 acres of land that the company purchased in San Jose.
The health industry added 1,000 in the South Bay while clerical and maintenance jobs accounted for 1,400 positions added in the East Bay. Retail also added a surprising 800 positions in East Bay during a time when many retail companies struggled to compete with Amazon and other online retailers.
High-paying industries continue to fuel the job growth in the area, but the most stagnant area tends to be in industries that have lower- to modest-wages. Economists suggest that the lack of job growth in the lower-paying sectors is likely due to availability rather than lack of demand.
The reports from 2018 have erased fears that the Bay Area will face a slowdown. The Bay Area data from the three quarters in 2017 showed months of job losses, which was feared to be a sign of an economic downturn.
Santa Clara County’s job growth is revitalized, with one-year growth of 2.9% after slipping to 1.9% growth a year prior.
The Federal Reserve reports a persistent tightening in the labor market across the United States. Overall economic activity in the country expanded at a modest rate in January and February. The U.S. central bank also raised the interest rates in March, a sign that the central bank has confidence in the economy’s continued growth. Policymakers are expected to raise rates three time this year.