How are jobs recovering in California and North Bay during the pandemic?

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If you work in the recreation and hospitality industry – hotels, restaurants, the arts and entertainment – you know only too well the toll the pandemic has taken on the state’s hardest-hit industry.

But now, the industry that relies the most on bringing people together is picking up jobs faster than any other industry in California, according to a recent report from the state’s Department of Employment Development.

California’s entertainment and hospitality industry recovered 585,500 jobs, an increase of 52.1% from its April 2020 low. Two-thirds of this net gain occurred during the period six months ending in July 2021, according to the most recent data from the EDD, detailed in its Labor Day 2021 background report, released in September.

The report measured job losses between February 2020 and April 2020, and the recovery between April 2020 and July 2021.

At its lowest, according to EDD findings in the first two months of the pandemic, the number of jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector fell by 47.9%, followed by the personal care sector. , which includes hair salons and beauty salons – another industry peak that brings people together. This sector, which had lost 33.4% of all jobs, recovered 93,100 jobs, an increase of 23.6%.

The construction industry and trade, transportation and utilities sector rank third and fourth in job recovery, at 18.9% and 13.7%, respectively, according to the EDD.

Notably, the commerce, transport and utilities sector recovered more than 82.2% of its job losses in July 2021.

“Its transportation, warehousing and utilities subsector has more than recouped its job losses from the recession, reflecting the strength of California’s international trade and logistics industry, and a sharp increase of online consumer spending during the pandemic, ”EDD said in the report.

There was a modest recovery in employment in the following sectors: education and health services (8.3%); professional and business services (8.2%); manufacturing (3.9%), information services (6.7%); and financial activities (0.9%).

At the other end of the spectrum are two industries that continued to lose jobs even as other sectors recovered: government (down 2.8%) and mining and forestry (down 2.8%). 7.4%), according to EDD.

As stated in the agency’s report:

“Losses in mining and logging, which include establishments involved in oil extraction and production, largely reflect the turmoil in global oil markets since the onset of the pandemic. The government job losses partly reflected the effects of school and college campus closures during the pandemic. “

Looking at a snapshot of North Bay from May through September – the most recent information available – there was a slight increase in leisure and hospitality jobs in Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties. Marin County had more jobs available in the sector until September, when there was a decline in opportunities, according to the Business Journal’s monthly report on the ESD findings.

The construction industry – another sector that has seen a significant recovery statewide this year – also largely follows North Bay. Sonoma County between May and September added jobs, as did Marin and Solano counties, except for June and May, respectively. Napa County didn’t add construction jobs until July.

A regional look at sectors that continue to lose jobs statewide – the mining and forestry industry, as well as government – does not fully align with the four North Bay area counties tracked in this report. .

In Sonoma and Napa counties, no notable industry has consistently lost jobs between May and September. Marin County in May, June and July reported fewer jobs in education and health services. During those same three months, Solano County experienced a decline in the opportunities available in the professional and business services sector.

Sonoma State University economist Robert Eyler said a number of factors paint a bigger picture of the job recovery in North Bay.

“As with other recessions, there have been job losses in the regional economy, but losses in most industrial sectors that continue after 18 months exacerbate some of the supply side problems, creating regional inflation and a reflection on how difficult it may be to rehire in the next few months, “said Eyler.” The migration of workers into and beyond North Bay may also be a factor in bringing back workers. jobs at pre-pandemic levels. “

Cheryl Sarfaty covers tourism, hospitality, healthcare and education. She previously worked for a daily Gannett in New Jersey and NJBIZ, the state’s business newspaper. Cheryl has worked freelance for business journals in Sacramento, Silicon Valley, San Francisco and Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. She holds a BA in Journalism from California State University, Northridge. Contact her at [email protected] or 707-521-4259.


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