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California Job Tracker: April 2014

Published April 9, 2014

One-Quarter of California’s Major Metropolitan Areas Have Recovered Lost Jobs

Eight of California’s major metropolitan areas have now recovered all of the jobs lost during the Recession, according to the latest data on nonfarm payrolls released for February 2014. These include the metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) of San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, El Centro, Bakersfield, Napa, and Merced. The regions account for about 25% of the state’s total employment. (See Figure 4.)

It was a painful Recession and the recovery has been erratic and uneven across the state. San Francisco and San Jose have far surpassed their prior highs, with gains of 7.2% and 6.2%, respectively. In contrast, several areas are down by more than 4.0%. These include Vallejo-Fairfield, Stockton, Sacramento, and Redding, as the Recession’s grip on the Central Valley was particularly severe.

Yet, California is clearly on a recovery track. The state still has nearly 100,000 jobs to recover to reach its previous high. However, if job growth continues at the average pace recorded in 2013, those jobs could be regained in only about three months. 

Although many Californians are still jobless, with the unemployment standing at 8.0%, full recovery in terms of the number of nonfarm jobs could be just a few months away.

See raw data: Employment numbers by region

Figure 4: Regions Where Job Recovery Has Met Pre-Recession Peak

(Nonfarm employment, seasonally adjusted)

Regions where job recovery has met pre-Recession peak

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, California Employment Development Department, Fermanian Business and Economic Institute


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