economic institute insights: regional job growth surges
Bay Area job growth surged again in March led by gains in information and professional services in the San Francisco and San Jose metro areas, according to an analysis of state employment data by Bay Area Council Economic Institute Advisory Board member Steve Levy. Strong labor force growth supported the job gains as more residents returned to the workforce and found jobs. The unemployment data gave a contradictory signal as unemployment levels and rates (though still very low) increased in March throughout the region. The next months will show whether this is a new trend or a blip. Year over year job growth rose to 2.4% and the region far outpaced the 1.7% growth for the nation and 1.4% state job growth. The San Francisco metro area led the region in job growth over the past 12 months followed by the San Jose metro area. Unemployment rates rose in March 2019 throughout the region contradicting the trends seen in job growth though this may be a one month blip. Still, it is hard to see unemployment rates falling much if any further.