Unemployment up slightly

The biggest job gains in March were in the government arena.

The California Employment Development Department released its latest unemployment numbers and even thought the rate rose slightly last month, Silicon Valley continued to hold forth with an impressive labor market.

In March, the region including San Jose, Sunnyvale, and the counties of Santa Clara, and San Benito, rose to an estimated 3 percent, according to the report.

The number is still lower than the overall tally for California—4.6 percent unemployment —and for the nation—3.9 percent.

Note, however, there’s usually a wide spread between close neighbors. The unemployment rate was 6.9 percent in San Benito County, and 2.9 percent in Santa Clara County.

Here are a few more details…

Job Gains (March 2019)

Last month in the Silicon Valley area, we grew by an estimated 8,400 jobs to reach 1,147,500—mostly in government (2,700). A hefty 1,600 of those jobs went to county positions.

The next biggest growth area was professional and business services, which picked up about 1,000 jobs in administrative and support services, plus another 800 in the overall category. Also, manufacturing gained 1,100 jobs and leisure and hospitality added 1,000 jobs.

Gains for the year

From March 2018 to March 2019, combined employment in the San Benito and Santa Clara counties expanded 2.6 percent, or a total of 29,500 new jobs. Most of those—8,500—were in the information sector; 7,600 were in manufacturing, and 5,600 were in professional and business services.

There were other gain. Private educational and health services added 2,900 jobs, government added 2,700 jobs, leisure and hospitality added 2,300 jobs, and financial activities added 1,800 jobs.

Construction loses jobs

The category to drop the most jobs was construction, which lost 1,300 jobs for the year-over comparison.

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