A look at San Jose, CA’s remarkably-low unemployment rate.

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San Jose’s low unemployment rate

San Jose is red hot, and I’m not just talking about the sweltering summer temperatures throughout California. In fact, the third largest city in the Golden State with more than one million residents, is one of the most super-charged economies in the nation with a booming tech industry and real estate prices that are skyrocketing. The current day economic Gold Rush in San Jose is also reflected in its job market, and no statistics are more telling than the unemployment rate.

As of May 2018 (the most up-to-date job numbers), the unemployment rate in San Jose is 2.3%. Of course, that means that an average of 97.7 of every 100 working adults are gainfully employed, which is an incredibly high rate, speaking to San Jose’s robust economy.

Let’s put San Jose’s 2.3% unemployment rate in perspective with these comparisons:

Sacramento, the state’s capital city, is also experiencing an economic windfall and period of expansion. However, the unemployment rate in Sacramento is now 3.9% (as of March 2018). While that’s considered a very favorable rate, it’s still a full 1.6% higher than unemployment in San Jose!

San Diego’s unemployment rate is 3.1%, and the California state average now sits at 4.3% – a full 2% more than jobless numbers in San Jose!

Looking at the graph of unemployment numbers in San Jose, it tells the story of a boom-to-bust-to-boom-again economy.

In fact, here are the San Jose unemployment numbers per year in the past real estate salad days and subsequent mortgage meltdown and recession, all the way through a recovery to today.

February 2008 5.6% San Jose
(6.1% Calfornia)

December 2008 8.4% San Jose
(9.2% California)

August 2009 12.5% San Jose
(11.5% California)

February 2010 12.1% San Jose

But just 36 months or so later, we see a huge economic recovery in San Jose. Many people who have been negatively affected from the bust, have found jobs and started building their credit to have more financing options.

May 2014 5.6% unemployment rate in San Jose

February 2016 San Jose unemployment: 4%
(5.6% California)

November 2017
San Jose 2.9%

San Jose’s remarkable jobless numbers have also been falling precipitously over the last months and years. In fact, May’s 2.3% unemployment rate is lower than April of 2018 (2.4%) or the same month in 2017 (3.1%) in San Jose.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, another 4,000 new jobs were added to the employment market between just April 2018 and May 2018, reaching a total of 1,133,400 jobs in San Jose right now.

Of the sectors with the biggest employment gains over the past month, we have leisure and hospitality (+1,000 jobs), professional and business services (+700 jobs), and private education and health services (+600). Transportation and utilities were the only business sectors showing job losses over that same period.

While unemployment rates in the low 2’s don’t seem sustainable long term, San Jose’s strong economic base and thriving business climate are sure to keep churning out jobs for just about anyone who wants one.

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