Santa Clara County unemployment numbers rise

Bay Area

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — As the local Bay Area economy looks to bounce back from the impacts of COVID-19, there are still many people who don’t have jobs.

In June, Silicon Valley saw its unemployment rate increase slightly. 

According to a recent analysis by Joint Venture Silicon Valley, the region’s unemployment rate increased from 4.6% in May to 5.1% for the month of June. 

Santa Clara County primarily drove those numbers up with more than 1,400 job losses and an additional 4,400 unemployed workers last month. 

In contrast, San Mateo and San Francisco counties gained more than 4,000 and 5,000 jobs, respectively. 

As of mid-June, approximately 73,100 Silicon Valley people making up Silicon Valley’s workforce remained unemployed. workers remained unemployed. 

Courtesy: Joint Venture Silicon Valley

The analysis defines Silicon Valley by combining Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. 

San Mateo recorded 21,500 unemployed workers and 51,600 in Santa Clara County. 

Across the Bay Area, which also includes San Francisco and San Benito counties, education jobs recorded higher losses. 

Between May and June, the region lost 3,200 public school jobs and 1,400 jobs at local universities and colleges. 

But back in Silicon Valley, businesses in leisure and hospitality added nearly 8,000 jobs, a 25% increase from 2020, according to the analysis. 

Business Development Manager for the San Jose Downtown Association Nate LeBlanc tells KRON4 News many businesses were able to stay afloat amid the pandemic, in part with the help from the Paycheck Protection Program. 

Courtesy: Joint Venture Silicon Valley

“People who have been able to stay afloat, I think the main connective thread that ties them all together is that they were willing to pivot and change as things changed.”

“I definitely have spoken with many business owners who wouldn’t be here without those infusions of those funds at those times,”

According to the analysis, retail jobs in Silicon Valley slightly increased in June, with a 0.2% month-to-month increase (approximately 300 jobs).  

But LeBlanc says the downtown business ecosystem doesn’t work without office workers returning to work and is encouraging people to visit local businesses.

“Eating lunch, having drinks, staying for dinner, catching a show, going to a concert, the whole system is fed by the massive amount of people who come in to go to work here in downtown San Jose,” said LeBlanc.

“We need to make sure when we’re there, we’re making up for the 15 months of spending zero dollars and spend some hard-earned pocket cash at these local businesses,” LeBlanc added.

“They really appreciate it, they really need it.”

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