Bay Watch: Bay Area Employment Recovers to Pre-Pandemic Levels, with South Bay Leading the Way
After 3 years of steady, slow growth, the Bay Area has fully recovered its pre-pandemic jobs.
A Bay Area Council Economic Institute analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics employment data released this week shows that the Bay Area has finally recovered to pre-pandemic employment levels, adding 23,000 jobs in January of this year. Since the region’s pandemic lowpoint for employment in May 2020, the region has added back 581,000 jobs, with the largest gains occurring in the San Jose metro (gaining 153,300 jobs).
Within the region for January, the South Bay added 5,100 jobs, the East Bay added 7,900 jobs and the San Francisco-San Mateo metro region added 8,900 jobs. In terms of overall recovery since February 2020, the South Bay and San Francisco metros are leading the charge. The San Jose metro is at +0.8% employment compared to pre-pandemic levels, the San Francisco-San Mateo metro is at +0.2%, while East Bay is still down -0.8% and the North Bay is down -2.7%.
In terms of monthly job gains, January 2023 saw the biggest month-to-month increase since October 2012, and marked the 24th consecutive month that the region gained employment since the peak of the omicron variant outbreak in late 2020/early 2021 when we lost 35,000 jobs in a two-month period.