Job growth slows sharply in California amid tech layoffs
The pace of job growth slowed sharply in the Bay Area and California in February, government officials disclosed Friday in a disquieting report that arrives on the heels of several months of widening tech and biotech layoffs.
The Bay Area added 6,500 jobs in February, but those gains represented a drastic slowdown from the increase of 19,000 jobs in January, a report posted on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website shows.
California, in a similar pattern, gained 32,300 jobs in February, but that was far fewer than the 67,600 jobs added statewide in January, according to the federal labor agency’s report. All of the numbers statewide and in the Bay Area were adjusted for seasonal volatility.
The statewide unemployment rate worsened in February to 4.3%, up from 4.2% in January. The California unemployment rate has now increased for two consecutive months. The state achieved a record-low jobless rate of 3.8% last July and August.
Santa Clara County added 2,300 jobs in February, which was an improvement over the 1,900 jobs that this urban center gained in January.
The San Francisco-San Mateo area, which has been particularly hard-hit by local tech and biotech layoffs, lost 2,200 jobs in February. In January, this metro region gained 9,600 jobs.
The East Bay was the strongest of the Bay Area’s three major urban centers, adding 5,000 jobs in February. But last month’s job gains in the Alameda County-Contra Costa County metro area were down from the 6,400 jobs the East Bay added in January.