The latest unemployment numbers are encouraging — though the figures are from before the Omicron variant hit — with the unemployment rate hitting just 3% in SF, and even lower in Marin, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties.
We hate to publish a headline proclaiming “Hey everybody, really low unemployment!” while knowing full well that restaurants are still closing because of the pandemic, that event cancellations continue to upend the service and entertainment sectors, and the state unemployment benefits system remains an absolute mess. But Friday’s release of the latest monthly unemployment numbers brought historically good data, though the numbers are from before the Omicron variant did its disastrous thing.
You can see it visualized above, and Socketsite reports that the San Francisco unemployment rate was just 3% in December. And it ain’t just us, as KPIX adds that “Marin, San Mateo and Santa Clara had the lowest rates [in California], below 3%.” (Marin County is the lowest in the state, at 2.7%)
California’s statewide unemployment rate is a much higher 6.5%. But that’s still good news, as the state Employment Development Department (EDD) notes that the unemployment rate “dropped a half percentage point from November 2021,” when it was 7%.
Though as the Chronicle notes, people are still quitting their jobs like mad, a term described statistically as “quits".
“Despite the more than 400,000 quits across California in November, the state saw 709,000 hires, following on the 691,000 people hired in October,” the Chron notes.
Socketsite points out this is still not a full recovery. “There are still 21,400 fewer employed people in San Francisco than there were prior to the pandemic and 17,300 fewer people in the labor force,” the site points out. “But 70,700 jobs have been recovered since the pandemic hit and over 30,000 people have returned to the local labor force."
Again, we’d like to see see next month’s numbers to get a truer sense of things. The EDD is up front that “employment data for the month of December 2021 is taken from the survey week including December 12.” That’s when Omicron cases were negligible, but Omicron’s affect on Bay Area workplaces has been anything but negligible since then.
Image: @SabrinaNC9 via Twitter