SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — A recent analysis shows the unemployment rate in Silicon Valley has risen slightly to start 2022.

The unemployment rate in the region increased 3.2% in January due in part to a drop in seasonal employment and a spike in COVID-19 cases that occurred after the holidays.

Between mid-December and mid-January — Silicon Valley employers laid off nearly 13,400 workers.

According to an analysis by Joint Venture Silicon Valley’s Institute for Regional Studies — the decline represents more than half of the job gains experienced between mid-October and mid-December of last year.

Additionally, the total number of unemployed workers in the region increased to 47,500 by mid-January — representing a decrease of nearly 5,000 since mid-December.

Despite a slight rise in the unemployment rate, the region is still up to nearly 17,000 jobs since April 2020 and the initial job losses associated with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, job growth has incased 13.5% over that nine-month period.

In comparison, the January unemployment rate in Silicon Valley was 2.5 percentage points lower than it was one year prior, and 8.8 percentage points lower than April 2020.

Courtesy: Joint Venture Silicon Valley.

Job growth per industry

The analysis shows:

  • Trade, Transportation, and Utility jobs represented the greatest month-over-month decline in the greater Silicon Valley region (two metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs) in December.
  • Transportation and Warehousing lost 3,700 jobs as part of the larger sector from mid-December to mid-January, followed by Retail Trade (-3,200 jobs).
  • Leisure and Hospitality declined by 4,900 (-2.5%) jobs from mid-December to mid-January, with Restaurants accounting for 1,700 of the job losses.
  • Computer Systems Design and Related Services was one of the few sub-sectors to increase in employment from mid-December to mid-January, adding 600 jobs throughout the greater Silicon Valley region.

“The recent easing of restrictions in Silicon Valley will likely mean the gradual increase in employment for restaurants, retail establishments, and other indoor places over the coming months and into the summer,” said Ryan Young, Research Manager for BW Research and an affiliated researcher at the Institute.

“Leisure and Hospitality needs to add 50,000 jobs just to reach the employment level from nearly two years ago.”

Unemployment rate by county

In January, the combined unemployment rate for Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties was 3.2%, compared to 3.4% for San Francisco, 3.9% for the Bay Area, 5.5% statewide, and 4.4% nationwide.

As of mid-January, approximately 47,500 people in Silicon Valley’s labor force remained unemployed (13,800 in San Mateo County, and 33,700 in Santa Clara County), an increase of nearly 5,000 since mid-December, and a drop of approximately 33,400 since January 2021.

The analysis also shows that the greater Silicon Valley employment levels between December and January declined most notably in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (-7,700 jobs), Leisure and Hospitality (-4,900 jobs) Government (-3,600 jobs), and Educational and Health Services (-3,300 jobs).

San Mateo and Santa Clara counties continued to record the second and third lowest unemployment rates among California counties in December.

San Francisco came in fourth with a 3.4% unemployment rate while Marin County remained in the number one spot for the state’s lowest unemployment rate.