Bay Watch – April 2023 Jobs Update

Bay Watch: A Weekly Look into the Bay Area Economy

May 19th, 2023

The region showed strong job gains in April, defying tech layoffs and previous month’s losses

In March 2023, the Bay Area’s two-year growth streak came to an end when the region lost 4,400 jobs, which many saw as the first impacts of reported tech layoffs across the region. However, the region added 11,000 jobs in April, a surprising reversal that defies the tech layoffs and bank failures that had characterized the first quarter of the year. Sectors other than tech are continuing to create new jobs, and the region seems to be entering a phase of the economic cycle where inflation is moving back toward a reasonable range and high interest rates have become normalized. However, there is still great uncertainty at a macro level regarding the economy’s future path. As the region moves forward, it remains to be seen whether the impact of tech layoffs will continue to be reflected in future job deficits or if the worst is behind us, but the April numbers do show that the Bay Area is not on the precipice of a recession. 


San Jose continues to outpace other parts of the region in terms of overall employment recovery

Within the region, the San Jose metro area, which includes Santa Clara and San Benito counties, continues to outpace other parts of the region -- having grown 1.7% beyond pre-pandemic employment levels, for an additional 19,400 jobs. Only San Jose and San Francisco have exceeded their pre-pandemic employment levels at any point since March 2020. After suffering the greatest job loss in March, the Oakland MD (which includes Oakland, Hayward and Berkeley) saw the greatest bounce back in April, recouping the nearly 5,000 jobs it lost, on top of 1,500 additional jobs. The North Bay continues to lag behind the rest of the region, particularly the San Rafael metro, which contains Marin County, still down 5.2% of pre-pandemic jobs.