• San Francisco

Bay Area Research Rant: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

By Robert Sammons, Regional Director – Northwest U.S. Research

help-wantedIt was a busy day last Friday when both U.S. (February) and local (January) employment numbers were released. As most of you know by now, the national numbers were surprising on the upside. Our crack economics team released a report on the national employment numbers which can be found HERE.

Now on to the San Francisco (metropolitan division) numbers. It’s tricky to look at the month over month figures as these have not been seasonally adjusted so best to stick with the annual change. And let’s go ahead and recognize the elephant in the room. Despite so much talk of layoffs in the tech industry, the figures there still look quite healthy. Of course, it takes time for the numbers to make it through the reporting system so stay tuned for any adjustment over the next couple of months.

  • The unemployment rate held flat at 3.2% since December – essentially full employment. It has fallen 80 basis points over the past year. Nonfarm jobs have jumped by 43,700 positions year-over-year through January, an increase of 4.3%.
  • All three major office sectors remain in the black over the past twelve months – financial activities up by 2,000 positions (+2.8%), information up by 2,900 positions (+5.1%) and professional & business services up by 19,400 positions (+7.8%).
  • That last group includes the still robust computer systems subsector which saw an increase of 8,700 jobs (+14.3%) over the past twelve months. As mentioned, this will bear watching as I have a feeling we’re going to see a reversal over the next month or two.
  • All the non-office sectors were relatively healthy EXCEPT one. Other services (how generic is that category name?) saw a decline 1,100 positions (-2.8%). The reason for the drop is that much of this category is made up essentially of non-profits which, in general, have been fleeing the high rents of San Francisco for a while now unless they absolutely are tied to this specific market.

There have been a plethora of recent articles on the national job numbers. Enjoy the good news.

This post is guest commentary from the latest weekly edition of our Bay Area Research Rant, which you can subscribe to for free by e-mailing robert.sammons@cushwake.com.

Robert_SammonsRobert Sammons is a Research Director for Cushman & Wakefield. Based in San Francisco, Robert’s principal roles include working closely with the C&W research teams across the Northwest – including Northern California, Portland and Denver. Robert is author of numerous documents that delve into a wide variety of real estate and economic trends. He has been a quoted source for all manner of real estate and related economic information in many widely known media outlets across the country. Robert has 29 years of real estate experience as both an appraiser and researcher. He earned a BBA in Real Estate from The University of Georgia and an MS in Real Estate from Georgia State University. Robert is a member of the Urban Land Institute.

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