SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — Silicon Valley employers continue to add more workers, with nearly 36,000 new jobs since the start of 2022.

According to an analysis by Joint Venture Silicon Valley’s Institute for Regional Studies, the employment rate in the region decreased to 2.4%, falling less than half of what it was a year ago. Between mid-February and mid-March, Silicon Valley employers added more than 16,200 workers and almost 116,000 in the last 12 months.

“The unemployment rate continues to decline in Silicon Valley, helped in part by strong job gains in Leisure and Hospitality over the last few months,” said Ryan Young, Research Manager for BW Research and an affiliated researcher at the Institute. “Despite this positive news, total employment is 30,000 below its height in February 2020, indicating that the region still has work to do in order to repair the economic damage of the pandemic.”

Joint Venture Silicon Valley said the total number of unemployed workers in the region decreased to 36,000 by mid-March – just below the number in February 2020 (36,600). Currently, the total employment in the region is up more than 200,100 since the pandemic-peak unemployment of April 2020. 

This month the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revised the March 2020 employment in the region, meaning that employment growth has surpassed the total number of jobs lost from March 2020 to April 2020 (185,300). This represents job growth of 15.8% over the last 23 months. According to Joint Venture, the unemployment rate in Silicon Valley in March was 3.2 percentage points lower than it was a year ago (March 2021), and 9.4 percentage points lower than April 2020.

Courtesy: Joint Venture Silicon Valley’s Institute for Regional Studies.

For the second month in a row, leisure and hospitality jobs represented the greatest month-over increase in the greater Silicon Valley region. Restaurants added 3,200 jobs as part of the larger sector from mid-February to mid-March, followed by arts, entertainment, and recreation with 500 jobs.

Other sectors that added jobs:

Professional and business services (+ 4,200 jobs);

Computer Systems Design and Related Services (+1,400 jobs);

Government (+1,800 jobs).

Current unemployment status in Silicon Valley

As of mid-March, approximately 36,000 people in the region’s labor workforce remained unemployed: 10,400 in San Mateo County and 25,700 in Santa Clara County. San Mateo continues to maintain the lowest unemployment rate among California counties falling from 2.7% in February to 2.3% in March. Santa Clara is tied for third with San Francisco, with both counties at 2.5%, just behind Marin at 2.4%.

Courtesy: Joint Venture Silicon Valley’s Institute for Regional Studies.