Bay Watch: Regional Jobs Recovery Too Good to Be True

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Over the past year, the Bay Area Council Economic Institute has reported on monthly data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics and state Employment Development Department (EDD) that indicated the Bay Area by mid-2023 had fully re-couped its job losses from the pandemic. Turns out, the news was too good to be true.

As part of its annual year-end review, the EDD last week reported that total payroll employment in the region is actually about 95,000 lower than previously reported, for a total of 4,073,900 jobs in January 2024. And while previous estimates showed the Bay Area fully recovering pre-pandemic employment by the middle of last year, the revised numbers show the region never fully recovered and is still down 1.1% (or 46,100 jobs).

While the new data includes revisions to pre-pandemic jobs, the biggest revisions occurred for 2023: the EDD originally estimated that 62,100 jobs were added to the Bay Area last year, when we actually added only 4,600 jobs, losing 27,600 jobs in the first three quarters of the year.

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