Silicon Valley records slight decrease in unemployment numbers

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — The latest unemployment numbers show Silicon Valley beginning to moderately recover from the pandemic, with rates settling back to where they were three months prior. 

According to an analysis released by Joint Venture Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley’s unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points between June and July, following a 0.4 percentage point increase over the prior one-month period. 

Variations in the region’s employment numbers have been a relatively small month to month over the last eight months. 

The largest employment declines during the pandemic happening between Apr. 2020 and last November — from 12% to 5.2%.

Courtesy: Joint Venture Silicon Valley

While Silicon Valley’s unemployment rate for July was the same in April, an additional 2,000 people added to the region’s unemployment numbers. 

The additional unemployment numbers are due to three straight months of increases in the total labor force — from 1.43 million in April to 1.47 million in July. 

For comparison, the pre-pandemic labor force was approximately 1.50 million in March 2020. 

Had the number of Silicon Valley’s labor force not increased by 42,000 people, the July unemployment rate would be higher than it was in April — at around 5%. 

The leisure and hospitality industry represented the greatest month-to-month uptick statewide, including the greater Silicon Valley region. 

According to the analysis, an increase of 7,800 jobs in leisure and hospitality were added for the greater Silicon Valley region, which includes metro-area data from San Francisco and San Benito counties. 

Other industries recording job increases include:

  • Professional and business service industry adding 5,200 jobs; and
  • Information industry adding 2,600 jobs.

The accommodation and food service industry in the greater Silicon Valley region is still 27% below pre-pandemic levels but some signs of improvement with 31% higher employment in July 2021 than July of 2020. 

Courtesy: Joint Venture Silicon Valley

Other key findings: 

  • Combined unemployment rate for Santa Clara and San Mateo counties was 4.9% compared to 5.2% for San Francisco, 5.7% for the Bay Area, 7.9% statewide, and 5.7% nationwide. 
  • As of mid-July, approximately 71,800 people in Silicon Valley’s labor force remained unemployed (21,200 in San Mateo County, and 50,600 in Santa Clara County). 
  • San Mateo and Santa Clara counties had the 2nd and 4th lowest unemployment rates among California counties for the month of July. 
  • Marin County still ranked number one for the state’s lowest unemployment rate, with a slight decline in July from 4.7% to 4.5%. 

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