Between January of 2011 and January of 2013 the Bay Area population increased by 1.9%. So, let’s say population growth is around 1% per year. You would, by inference, expect the labor force to grow by a similar percentage. Over the past year, however, the labor force has grown a paltry 0.3%. Where have the workers gone? What gives? (See SF Bay Area Employment Trends page above)
Employment has grown by 1.9% over the past year. That’s good. The unemployment rate has dropped, that’s good, too. But what about these numbers? Total employment has stabilized near the 12 month average. I hear talk of expansion coming out of the Silicon Valley but where is it? In September of 2012, the labor force and the number employed in the Bay Area both grew. This year, between September and October, the labor force and the number employed both contracted. Not really a positive trend even though the unemployment rate appears favorable. Go figure.