Friday, November 26, 2021
EconomyOpinion

Job Gains Mounting but California’s Major Metros Still Have a Way to go to Recover Pandemic-Driven Job Losses

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COVID’s Not Insignificant Impact on Apartment Markets in Already-High-Priced Urban Centers

With little exception, California’s major metropolitan regions have recently enjoyed multiple, consecutive months of employment gains—but the climb back from the historic job losses of the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. A new analysis released today by Beacon Economics spotlights both months of steady job gains in five of the state’s largest metros and delivers a more daunting context: all five regions still need to recover more than 40% of the jobs they originally lost.

From best performing to worst, the latest numbers indicate that Los Angeles and San Diego have each recovered 57% of the jobs lost in March and April of 2020, the onset of the pandemic. The South Bay/San Jose is a close second at 56% recovered, followed by the East Bay/Oakland at 50% and finally by San Francisco at just 45% recovered. These recovery rates do, however, represent fairly robust improvements over the recovery rates in the last edition of this analysis, released in June.

“Now that these metro areas, and the state overall, are hitting vaccination targets, the major headwinds that have restrained employment growth to date are diminishing at a steadier pace,” said Taner Osman, Research Manager at Beacon Economics and one of the report authors. “Also, as labor markets in general start to settle on new wage and supply equilibriums, which have been driven by the pandemic, we should see continued employment growth across California’s urban centers.”

According to the analysis, all five major metros are forecasted to continue adding to local payrolls throughout the fall and winter.

The new analysis also examines the apartment markets in the state’s major metros, and none were left unscathed by the effects of the pandemic. Driven by both reduced demand and an uptick in supply, the cost of apartment rents fell as vacancies rose in every metro region from the first quarter of 2020 to the second quarter of 2021.

The degree of the effect has been relatively wide-ranging, extending from a high 14.7% decline in average rent in San Francisco to a much more modest 0.7% decrease in San Diego. The South Bay/San Jose also experienced a relatively large drop at 10%, while the declines in Los Angeles (5.4%) and the East Bay/Oakland (5.5%) were milder.

View the full Regional Outlooks for the East Bay, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and the South Bay

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Inland Empire Business Journal
The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.