San Francisco Labor Force and Employment

While the unemployment rate in San Francisco ticked up from 4.4 percent to 4.6 percent last month as the size of the city’s labor force grew, the number of San Francisco residents with jobs increased by 700 and employment in San Francisco has hit a new all-time high.

According to California’s Employment Development Department, the number of employed San Francisco residents now totals 467,200.  That’s 1,700 more employed than at December 2000’s dot-com peak when the unemployment rate in the city measured 3 percent on a smaller labor force 0f 480,000 versus 489,500 today.

The unemployment rate in San Francisco topped out at a little over 10 percent in January of 2010 when 59,500 fewer San Francisco residents were employed.

The unemployment rates in Marin and San Mateo both ticked up last month as well — to 4.0 percent and 4.2 percent respectively — as did the unadjusted unemployment rate for California which ticked up  from 7.1 percent to 7.3 percent as statewide employment dropped by 25,700.

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by extra

    Why do the data show a steep jump in January 2000, right before the previous high?

    • Posted by Wai Yip Tung

      That’s the ill fated dotcom bubble. Are you in San Francisco at that time?

      • Posted by extra

        I’m not asking about the gradual build-up from 1996 to January 2001, but rather the steep jump of 50,000 between December 1999 and January 2000. Was this because of new census data or something? No other month added more than a few thousand to the labor force, and most Januarys show a drop. I won’t trust this chart until I understand that inconsistency.

  2. Posted by Sally

    This is just the beginning of a 10 year bull run in employment.

  3. Posted by JR "Bob" Dobbs

    The huge jump in 2000 is in a single month – December 1999 to January 2000. Not certain, but I’m guessing that this is due to either the use of the census data in 2000 (rather than EDD counts) or some other change in methodology. 1999-2000 certainly was a heady dot-com employment period. But that does not explain the 10% jump in the labor force in a single month, which clearly is a measurement issue rather than fact.

    The trend since 2010 sure looks good.

    • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

      Or maybe it’s the people fleeing the Y2K doomsday event rushing West all at once 😉

      Interesting to see the 5-year hangover from the dot-coms. People slowly leaving SF after their dreams of instant riches met the reality of the early naughts. Many of the additional people from the dot-com bubble simply left. Most of my tech (actual tech, not the BS dotcommie crowd) friends stayed. Some H1-Bs had to struggle to get back but all managed to do it. The are all part of the current cycle, stronger and wiser than ever.

  4. Posted by EBGuy

    Is it too early to start a company deadpool? Square and Zygna could get interesting in a couple of years..

    • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

      And revive the FC website? Memories, memories…

    • Posted by Anon

      Why don’t you like Square?

      • Posted by EBGuy

        There were over 100 million reasons last year. They’re essentially taking VC money and handing it to users of the Square payment processing system in the form of subsidized credit card transaction processing fees. Will they be able to buy enough friends before the money runs out?

  5. Posted by minka

    I love Square. I think you are wrong, wrong, wrong. The conventional credit card processing model was an ox that needed to be gored.

    • Posted by SFCitizen

      Sorry, but Square only works with the USA swipe cards. They will need to support chip and pin very soon to remain viable.

      • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

        The model behind Square is excellent. They could perfectly render the usual credit card processing system obsolete.

        In a former life I worked on credit and debit card processing back-end systems. I recall industry rah rah meetings where it was all about the smart chip. Everyone had his own standard that would revolutionize the industry. One major problem was that the government didn’t impose either the chip or even a standard for the chip, like they imposed the 8583 standard for the mag stripe many years ago. The year was 1998… Nobody won, everyone lost.

        Maybe if a player like Square can build enough muscle, they can do what failed to be achieved almost 2 decades ago. Yeah right.

        • Posted by anon

          email receipts are a neat hack and they have a slick iPad app, but neither of those are protectable against competition
          EBGuy hit it. Its the old grow fast by running at a loss model

          • Posted by san FronziScheme (formerly known as lol)

            Model, precisely. I didn’t say Square was either viable or unique, or even the future winner of this new generation of payment systems. But better technology allows for a reshuffling of the cards. Square is going for it. Others are also joining in. But something has to break the old high interchange model.

            One processing company I worked for had 800 merchants. They were charging ~3% interchange but were only getting 0.7% because of the physical middleman processing. We set up the PoS terminals, shipped them with set-up instructions, built the connection with the in-house MC processing box and all the back-end 8583 that also allowed us to process to the other big names. After all was said and done the chunk of the interchange they collected was 1.3%. The boss of the processing company had a big smile on his face. There’s a lot of money in cutting the middlemen and economies of scale.

  6. Posted by Anon

    no need for the word sorry there

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