The unemployment rate in California jumped 0.6 perentage point in May to 6.8%, “the largest one-month increase since the state began keeping records in 1976.” The San Fransciso MSA, however, remains a relative – but not necessarily absolute – stalwart.

In the San Francisco metropolitan area, which includes Marin and San Mateo counties, unemployment was 4.6 percent in May, up from 4.2 percent the month before. In the San Jose area, the rate rose to 5.6 percent from 5.2 percent. And in the Oakland area, including Contra Costa and Alameda counties, unemployment was 5.7 percent, up from 5.3 percent.

“The Bay Area still is the best part of the California economy,” said Howard Roth, principal economist for the California Finance Department. “But the bloom is off the rose.”

State records biggest jump in unemployment in May [SFGate]

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    Thank goodness they lowered interest rates and expanded the FHA “conforming” loan program, now these additional thousands of unemployed will be able afford that new home or resetting mortgage … oh wait

  2. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    And might I add this, very different view, of the Bay Area employment

    The East Bay has lost nearly 12,000 jobs so far in 2008 – including thousands more last month. But during the past 12 months, the East Bay accounted for two out of every three jobs lost in the Golden State.”

    Now I know this quote isn’t about SF but I can’t imagine there not being some kind of ancillary effect here in SF.

  3. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    18,000 jobs lost in the entire “recession”? That doesn’t sound like very many to me. Why is the unemployment rate even up? It must be that a bunch of people have entered the labor force, to try and cover the high cost of things like gasoline.
    I suspect that there has been massive job loss in the underground economy, mostly illegal construction workers, but I haven’t seen much economic data on that.

  4. Posted by sparky

    Underground and overground and everything in between on the construction side is super busy. I’m hiring and so is everyone I know.

  5. Posted by fluj

    Interesting, NVJ. A friend of mine who works in nonprofit housing development and myself were theorizing about something related. The thought was about the underground economy, vis a vis the drug trade. We wondered if that is getting hit right now. And further, perhaps that is why there has been an escalation in homicides in San Francisco? In a depressed economy where people don’t have extra cash for weed or coke or whatever, then territory becomes more important for gangbangers?
    Just a thought. Probably impossible to quantify. Of course, on the other hand I’ve been told by numerous sources that in depressed economies cosmetics and liquor sales always surge. So maybe the same thing is actually true of drugs. Who knows?

  6. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    Sparky’s comment not withstanding it appears, as one would expect, that construction and financial services are leading the way down.

    “The East Bay is in tough shape this year,” said Jon Haveman, a Beacon Economics co-owner and economist. “Financial services and construction in the East Bay are getting big hits.”

  7. Posted by fluj

    What does the East Bay have to do with what Sparky said?

  8. Posted by sparky

    I was talking about San Francisco. Although I have lost some of my guys to Sacramento union work for what it’s worth.

  9. Posted by NoeValleyJim

    I was thinking more about the economy state-wide. It seems fine here in San Francisco.

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