Coronavirus economy: Job rebound fizzles in Bay Area, California — South Bay powers on

The Bay Area added jobs during September, but the once-robust region’s battle to regain the mammoth amount of jobs it lost amid coronavirus-linked business shutdowns has fizzled, a new report released Friday shows.

While employers added 18,900 jobs in the Bay Area, September’s gains were far below the prior month and just a puny fraction of the record-setting 109,000 jobs reported in June, the state Employment Development Department reported.

“The Bay Area labor market, one of the hottest in the country and in the State of California, has done a 180-degree U-turn in the wrong direction since the pandemic shutdowns started to lift in May,” said Scott Anderson, chief economist with Bank of the West.

To intensify the economic angst: The gap between the Bay Area and California is significant when it comes to the speed of regaining jobs. The Bay Area has recovered just one-third of the jobs it lost during March and April, while California has recaptured nearly 40%.

“The Bay Area has been particularly cautious in reopening,” said Patrick Kallerman, research director with the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. “That is good for keeping the coronavirus down, but that’s bad for restarting the economy.”

Santa Clara County was by far the best-performing metro center in the Bay Area last month, adding 9,000 jobs, according to the EDD report. The San Francisco-San Mateo region gained 5,400 jobs, and the East Bay added 4,300 positions.

“We are definitely in the slower phase of the recovery now,” said Jeffrey Michael, director of the Stockton-based Center for Business and Policy Research.

Overall, California added 96,000 jobs in September, and the statewide unemployment rate improved slightly to 11% in September, down from 11.2% in August. Like the Bay Area, the state’s employment gains in September were far below the 113,800 jobs added back during August. However, the Bay Area’s current unemployment rates are still better than the state’s. Santa Clara County’s unemployment rate was 7.4%, San Francisco-San Mateo was 8.2%, and the East Bay was 9.8%.

The Bay Area has now recovered 33% of the 619,500 jobs that it lost during March and April. That’s well behind the statewide recovery pace of 38%. California lost a massive 2.62 million jobs in March and April, this news organization’s analysis of the EDD statistics for 2020 shows.

Santa Clara County, though, is outpacing the Bay Area and the state. The South Bay has regained 39% of the 150,600 jobs it lost in the first two months of the pandemic. Read more via SiliconValley