114-month job expansion for state

California celebrated its 114th month of job expansion in August and Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay area community continued to hover just above historic levels of unemployment, according to state Employment Development Department numbers released today.

Santa Clara County held onto its fourth place ranking in the state for lowest unemployment. The county, known as the home of Silicon Valley, trailed San Mateo (2.1 percent), San Francisco (2.3 percent), and Marin (2.4 percent) counties. Imperial County came in 58th, or last place, with 22.1 percent unemployment.

The combined area of Santa Clara and San Benito counties saw a 1.2 percent increase in the labor force compared to last year at this time.

Silicon Valley Unemployment

  • 2.6%—Unemployment rate of Santa Clara County, August 2019
  • 4.6%—Unemployment rate of San Benito County, August 2019

Total employment in the area including San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, and San Benito County, increased by 3,100 jobs (a total of 1,164,800).

  • 1,800 Jobs added in government, primarily in local public education (up 1,600 jobs) as schools come back into session.
  • 1,500 Jobs added in professional and business services sectors, mostly in administrative and support services (up 1,200 jobs).
  • 500 Jobs added in the information sector.
  • 500 Jobs lost in private educational and health services sectors.

August 2018 to August 2019

Combined employment in the South Bay counties of San Benito and Santa Clara, grew by 28,800 jobs, or 2.5 percent.

  • 8,600 Jobs added in information
  • 7,100 Jobs added in professional and business services, including:
    • 5,300 Jobs added in professional, scientific, and technical services;
    • 2,000 Jobs added in administrative and support and waste services; and
    • 200 Jobs lost in management of companies and enterprises
  • 6,400 Jobs added in manufacturing, mostly in computer and electronic product manufacturing (4,900 jobs)
  • 3,100 Jobs added in government
  • 2,700 Jobs added in private educational and health services
  • 1,200 Jobs added in financial activities

Sectors to add the most jobs

The information sector grew the fastest year over year at 9.1 percent in the combined Santa Clara and San Benito counties. Sectors to grow more than 5 percent include:

  • Computer & peripheral equipment manufacturing (8.3 percent)
  • Electronic computer manufacturing (8.0 percent)
  • Local government excluding education (7.0 percent)
  • Transportation & warehousing (5.6 percent)
  • State Government excluding education (5.3 percent)
  • Electronic instrument manufacturing (5.2 percent)
  • Scientific research & development services (5.2 percent)
  • Bare printed circuit board manufacturing 5.1 percent)


California’s Labor Market, by the Numbers

  • 4.1%—California unemployment rate in August tied the record low set last year.
  • 114—Months of state’s job expansion. August job expansion of 34,500 nonfarm jobs extended current job expansion to an all-time record. Gains were mostly in the government, educational and health services, and leisure and hospitality industry sectors.
  • 29,200—Average number of jobs added each month during 114-month expansion
  • 3,330,100—Jobs gained in California since the economic expansion began in February 2010 (contributing more than 15 percent of the nation’s job gains during the expansion).

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