SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — For the very first time since the start of the pandemic,  Silicon Valley’s latest unemployment rate dropped below 4%.

According to the latest analysis by Joint Venture Silicon Valley, the region’s unemployment rate fell to 3.9% for the month of September. 

Silicon Valley’s unemployment rate decreased by 0.8 percentage points between August and September, following a 0.2 percentage point decrease over the prior one-month period. 

In September, the combined unemployment rate for Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties was 3.9%, compared to 4.1% for San Francisco, 4.6% for the Bay Area, 6.4% statewide, and 4.6% nationwide.

In comparison, the unemployment rate in Silicon Valley in September was two percentage points lower than it was towards the end of 2020. 

Courtesy: Joint Venture Silicon Valley.

Last month’s greatest month-over-month uptick in employment for the greater Silicon Valley region came from State and local government jobs. 

According to analysis, as students returned to in-person classes from elementary schools through colleges and universities, has contributed to an increase in both local and state government regionally in the month of September. 

As for the greater Silicon Valley, which the analysis includes San Francisco and San Benito counties, employment levels between August and September grew in the following industries: 

  • Leisure and Hospitality with an added 4,200 jobs;
  • Professional and business services with an added 3,600 jobs;
  • Local government education with an added 2,700 jobs; and 
  • State government education with an added 2,200 jobs. 

But despite recent gains, the region’s leisure and hospitality industry are still down 55,00 jobs since pre-pandemic levels. 

The analysis shows that approximately 57,100 people in Silicon Valley’s labor workforce remained unemployed — 21,200 in San Mateo County and 50,600 in Santa Clara County. 

Other parts of the region like San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties recorded the 2nd and 3rd lowest unemployment rates among California counties in September. 

Courtesy: Joint Venture Silicon Valley.