Silicon Valley Jobs Report: Annual job growth falls below 1%

posted by Louise Auerhahn

Monday, March 24, 2008, at

Just a quick note on the February job numbers. Friday's employment report from the state showed that job growth in the San Jose metro region fell to 0.8% over the year, as the region added just 7,600 nonfarm jobs between February 2007 and February 2008. That puts our job growth rate below 1%: not a recession, but not a good sign either.

The graph below shows annual growth rates over the past three years.

While job growth is slowing, working families continue to face rising prices for basic goods, especially food and gas. The Mercury News reports that prices for flour, milk, and eggs have all risen more than 24% just in the past year. Gas is up to $3.66 per gallon for regular unleaded and a shocking $4.24 for diesel.

And don't think you can drown your sorrows -- thanks to a worldwide hops shortage, the price of beer is up too.(Continued...)

Highlights of the local jobs report:

  • The San Jose metro area added a net 2,900 non-farm jobs in February, with major industries showing a mixed picture. The largest gains for the month were in private educational and health services, which added 2,000 jobs (largely in higher education); leisure and hospitality, with 1,300 new jobs; and professional and business services, with 1,100 jobs. Meanwhile the retail sector lost jobs for the second consecutive month, shedding 2,100 positions. The government sector lost 800 jobs in February, due largely to school staffing reductions made in anticipation of state funding cuts for K-12 education.

  • Over the year, the San Jose metro area added 7,600 jobs, a 0.8% increase from February 2007.

  • The biggest year-over-year gains were in manufacturing (+3,300 jobs), private educational & health services (+2,400 jobs), information (+1,700 jobs), government (+1,300 jobs), and trade, transportation & utilities, which includes retail (+1,100 jobs).

  • The construction and financial activities sectors -- both strongly tied to the housing market -- continued to weaken, with construction losing 800 jobs over the year and financial activities losing 1,300 jobs. The region also lost 400 jobs in leisure & hospitality and 400 jobs in professional & business services.

  • For February 2008, the unemployment rate stood at 5.2%, down 0.1 percentage points from January (which normally has the highest unemployment rate of the year) and up 0.5 points over the year. That translates to 4,500 more unemployed residents (by official measures) than in February 2007.

  • Seven years after the tech crash, Silicon Valley holds 148,800 fewer jobs than it did in February 2001.

Labels: , , ,

[ Continue reading Silicon Valley Jobs Report: Annual job growth falls below 1% ]

© 2007 Working Partnerships USA, All rights reserved.