Bay Watch – April 2024 Jobs Update

Bay Watch: A Weekly Look into the Bay Area Economy

May 21, 2024

Jobs added to region in April, but growth is slow

Since the Bureau of Labor Statistics released data revisions that showed that the Bay Area never fully recovered from pandemic-related job losses, job growth in the region has plateaued. New data for April show that the 9-county Bay Area gained a meager 300 jobs last month, up 100 from the 200 jobs gained in March, and an improvement from the loss of 3,500 jobs in February. The East Bay subregion (which includes Alameda and Contra Costa counties) led the region’s growth with 2,600 new jobs added in April. A loss of 1,700 jobs in the San Francisco/San Mateo subregion brought the region’s total gain back down. This marginal gain is unsurprising given recent job trends in the region, which have shown negative or modest growth since the start of 2024.

Compared to the state or nation more broadly, the region continues to lag behind in terms of overall growth, still down 1.5% compared to February 2020 employment levels. California and the U.S. have fully recovered job losses, even exceeding pre-pandemic levels.

The Education & Health sector, which includes most teachers, nurses, and other medical/care professionals, saw the biggest increase in employment over the last 12 months. This sector has also seen the biggest increase since before the pandemic. Despite taking the biggest hit since the start of the pandemic, the Leisure and Hospitality industry (restaurants, bars, hotels, arts, sports) added 8,900 jobs over the last 12 months, however, still remains 25,600 jobs below pre-pandemic levels.