Sunday, May 22, 2005

East Bay job growth still steady

Posted on Sat, May. 21, 2005

East Bay job growth still steady


The East Bay job market displayed increased muscle in April, according to a report issued Friday by state labor officials.

The April employment report showed that over the past year, East Bay employers have added 7,900 jobs to their payrolls, a gain of 0.8 percent. The East Bay is also growing faster than the 10-county Bay Area, where the job market grew 0.6 percent over the year, adding 17,600 jobs.
Solano County had the fastest-growing employment market over the past 12 months, adding jobs at a yearly pace of 2.5 percent.

The rate of the employment gains is also starting to accelerate in the Alameda-Contra Costa region. In March, employers in the East Bay added jobs at a yearly rate of 0.6 percent, and the Bay Area grew by 0.3 percent.

For the month, the East Bay added 3,200 jobs, not adjusted for seasonal changes. The Bay Area added 12,300 jobs in April, the state Employment Development Department reported.
The statewide unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.4 percent, but the state added 20,400 payroll jobs in the month and the number of people unemployed dropped to its lowest level since July 2001.

The state also revised its estimate upward for jobs created last month to 21,000 from the original estimate of 17,600.

The numbers were in line with what analysts were expecting and shows steady, but moderate, job growth.

"The good news is that with five months in a row, we now know that both California and the nation are in a period of job growth," said Stephen Levy, senior economist at the Palo Alto-based Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy.

But the state is still not on pace to replace jobs lost in recent years, especially in the technology sector.

"This is a good year, but not a breakout year," Levy said.

Last month, 26 of the state's 28 labor markets showed job growth, the state said.
Notable among those that didn't was the San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara area, which lost 2,300 jobs compared to April 2004.

But the area added 5,800 jobs from March to April, including leisure and hospitality jobs and temp positions, according to the state.

"We're still adding manufacturing jobs year over year in the state," Jack Kyser, chief economist of the Los Angeles Economic Development Commission said. "About the only sour note is the San Jose area, but it's narrowing."

Times staff writer George Avalos and the Associated Press contributed to this story.
© 2005 and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.

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