Center for Strategic Economic Research
Economy Watch and the Quarterly Economic Report are ongoing publications examining various economic growth indicators and other factors in the Sacramento Region. These publications presents a snapshot of current economic conditions in the Sacramento Region and provide comparisons with other selected regions of California and the United States.
AUGUST 2014

Sacramento's job growth remained above the statewide average

The number of jobs on payrolls in the six-county Sacramento Region grew by 2.4 percent between July 2013 and 2014. Preliminary data show an employment increase of 21,400 in the Region over the past 12 months. Although the Regionís annual job growth took a slight dip compared to the previous month, it remained above the statewide and national averages and around the same point in the previous year. Although all of the Regionís five largest sectors posted positive annual job growth in July 2014 there is still a wide disparity in performance. Both the Professional & Business Services and Educational & Health Services sectors posted fairly robust annual job growth at 6.7 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively. All segments of these two sectors are now adding notable amounts of jobs on an annual basis. The other three large sectors in Sacramento posted annual job growth at or below 1.0 percent in July 2014. Trade, Transportation, & Utilities slowed slightly to 0.9 percent annual job growth with most gains still in the retail component. Government also experienced a dip in July 2014 with annual job growth falling to 0.7 percent. Gains in the Regionís largest sector were exclusively in the state government portion while federal and local government activities shed jobs in the past 12 months. Annual job growth in the Leisure & Hospitality sector was flat in July 2014 at 1.0 percent with increases confined to the component that includes restaurants and bars. This variation in performance across the five sectors that drive regional job growth introduces some downside risk if annual job growth slows in the two strong sectors like it has in some of the others.

California posted 2.2 percent annual job growth in July 2014 with a gain of 328,500 jobs. The stateís overall downward pattern continued with the latest annual job growth about 1.0 percentage point below the same point in the previous year. The extended flat pattern at the national level is beginning to show some signs of a slight improvement with annual job growth moving up to 1.9 percent. This reflects an increase of over 2.6 million jobs on payrolls across the country. With 2.8 percent annual job growth in July 2014, the SF Bay Area remained one of the strongest regions in the state, but job growth has fallen off substantially and is now 1.2 percentage points below the same point in the previous year. It is important to note that some slowing is expected as an economy moves through an expansion phase. The Stockton market posted 2.1 percent annual job growth with the addition of 4,200 jobs while Solano dropped to 1.3 percent annual job growth, adding just 1,600 jobs.

Annual Job Growth

Data Sources: CA Employment Development Department and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Major Sector Annual Job Gains and Losses
Data Source: CA Employment Development Department

Most of Sacramento's major sectors posted annual job gains

Among the Sacramento Regionís 11 major sectors, 8 added jobs between July 2013 and 2014. The Professional & Business Services and Educational & Health Services sectors, two of the Regionís largest, posted a combined gain of 15,600 jobs. Four other sectors added more than 1,000 jobs each, including Construction where gains in the specialty trade contractors segment is primarily driving improvements in the sector. It is also interesting to note that the high-value Manufacturing sector posted a fairly substantial annual gain despite continued losses in the broader economy. Only the Financial Activities and Information sectors lost jobs in the past 12 months with a combined loss of 1,100 jobs. The Regionís net gain of 21,400 jobs moved total Nonfarm employment up to 918,100. The employment level is still around what Sacramento was seeing in the year 2005, but is 67,500 jobs above the low point in the recent recession (winter of 2011). Despite the improving regional economy, Sacramento is still 35,500 jobs below the pre-recession peak from the summer of 2007.

Statewide, 9 of the 11 major sectors added jobs in the 12 months ending July 2014. Like in the Sacramento Region, the greatest gains in the state were in the Professional & Business Services and Educational & Health Services sectors. Only Financial Activities and Manufacturing posted job losses in California in the past 12 months. Annual job losses in the SF Bay Area were confined to the small Mining & Logging sector while Professional & Business Services and Educational & Health Services posted the largest gains. The Government sector topped the list of annual job gains in the Stockton market while Trade, Transportation, & Utilities added the most jobs in the Solano market. Stockton experienced annual job declines in three major sectors while Solano lost jobs in only one (which happened to be the leading sector statewide, Professional & Business Services).