Despite mammoth job losses, Santa Clara County’s job market has fared better — because it suffered the smallest employment declines — compared with the East Bay and San Francisco-San Mateo region amid coronavirus-linked business shutdowns, a new analysis shows.
Over the one-year period ended in April, a month that brought severe job losses in California and across the nation, Santa Clara County lost far fewer jobs than the two other major metro regions in the Bay Area, the Alameda-Contra Costa county area, and the San Francisco-San Mateo County metro, according to a survey by Beacon Economics.
“Compared to its Bay Area neighbors, the South Bay labor market fared the best in April, experiencing smaller year-over-year declines in employment relative to San Francisco and the East Bay,” Beacon Economics stated in its report.
Over the 12-month period, job losses totaled 126,400 in Santa Clara County, 176,300 in the East Bay, and 159,600 in the San Francisco-San Mateo metro area.
Total employment measured by non-farm payrolls fell 11.1 percent in the South Bay, 13.6 percent in the San Francisco-San Mateo region, and 14.9 percent in the East Bay over the one-year period that ended in April, according to the Beacon analysis.
The information industry — a large component of the tech sector — was able to withstand job losses that eviscerated other industries dependent on high levels of contact or interaction, such as restaurants, hotels, and retail, Beacon said.
Over the 12 months that ended in April, the information services and products sector increased employment by 2.9 percent in the South Bay and by 5.4 percent in the San Francisco-San Mateo metro area, growth that’s far less than the typical double-digit increases in the years prior to the coronavirus-induced economic slump, according to Beacon. In the East Bay, however, Information industry employment fell 4.3 percent.
Santa Clara County’s hardest-hit industry during the one-year period was leisure and hospitality, which encompasses hotels, restaurants, drinking places, arts and entertainment. Those sectors shed 56,300 jobs, a decline of 52.5 percent over the one-year period.
The East Bay’s worst-hit sector also was leisure and hospitality, which lost 46,500 jobs for a decline of 38.9 percent. The same was true in the San Francisco-San Mateo region, which lost 77,600 jobs, equating to a decline of 52.8 percent.
The latest snapshot for the Bay Area economy is scheduled to be revealed Friday when the state’s labor agency releases a new employment report.
State and local government agencies have played a role in driving demand for an array of products and services that tech companies provide.
“Given the abrupt nature of the stay-at-home orders, many firms were left scrambling for the equipment, software, and capabilities to transition to working from home,” Beacon reported.