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.
MARCH 2014

The Sacramento Region is seeing slower annual job growth

The six-county Sacramento Region is experiencing a downturn in annual job growth. Preliminary data show that the number of jobs on payrolls in the Region increased by 1.4 percent over the 12 months ending February 2014, an annual rate of growth that is notably slower than at the end of 2013 and well below what the Region posted in February 2013. The recent job growth pattern also moved the Region below both the statewide and national averages and increased the gap between neighboring regions that are all seeing job growth above the statewide average. Among the Sacramentoís five largest sectors, which tend to dictate overall regional job growth, one is shedding jobs at an increasing rate, three are seeing fairly flat or decreasing positive growth, and one posted a slightly uptick in February 2014. The largest sector, Government, shifted back to positive annual job growth in the summer of 2013 due to gains in state government activities. Over the past few months, annual job growth in the Government sector has been steady coming in at 1.4 percent in February 2014. The Trade, Transportation, & Utilities sector, which is dominated by retail trade activities, also posted 1.4 percent annual job growth in February 2014. While annual job growth has been somewhat flat in this sector over the past few months, it is seeing significantly slower growth than at the same point in 2013. Similarly, annual job growth in the Professional & Business Services sector is at a much lower level than at the same time last yearó1.5 percent in February 2014 compared to 7.1 percent in February 2013. The dynamics in this sector have been driven by the employment services segment, which has been fairly volatile as the overall economy struggles through the recovery cycle. Educational & Health Services saw annual job growth move up recently, but is also lower than one year ago. In February 2014, Educational & Health Services posted 3.7 percent annual job growth due to continued gains in the health care segments. The Leisure & Hospitality sector moved into negative annual job growth territory at the end of 2013 due to losses in the accommodation and recreational segments. This sector shed 2.2 percent of all jobs on payrolls between February 2013 and 2014.

California posted 2.3 percent annual job growth in February 2014 with a gain of nearly 346,000 jobs. This rate of growth was somewhat slower than in 2013, but remained above the national average of 1.5 percent. The SF Bay Area, Stockton, and Solano all posted annual job growth above the statewide average in February 2014 at 3.2 percent, 2.9 percent, and 2.8 percent, respectively.

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 added jobs last year

Seven of the Sacramento Regionís eleven major sectors added jobs between February 2013 and 2014. The greatest gains were seen in two of the Regionís largest sectors, Educational & Health Services and Government. The Construction sector has made its way back toward the top of the list as both commercial and residential activities are picking up. The Leisure & Hospitality sector, another of the Regionís largest, shed the most jobs in the past 12 months. Manufacturing, Other Services, and Information also posted annual job declines in February 2014. With a net gain of 12,100 jobs, total Nonfarm employment levels in the Region moved up to 906,300, which is only about 47,000 jobs below the 2007 peak and roughly 53,000 jobs above the 2011 trough.

Statewide, the Professional & Business Services and Educational & Health Services sectors added the most jobs in the 12 months ending February 2014. Only three sectors in the state lost a relatively small amount of jobs in the past year including Financial Activities; Mining & Logging; and Manufacturing. Every major sector either held steady or added jobs in the SF Bay Area between February 2013 and 2014. Similar to the statewide dynamics, the largest gains in the SF Bay Area were posted in the Professional & Business Services and Educational & Health Services sectors. The Stockton market shed jobs in only two sectors in the past year, Educational & Health Services and Construction. The Government sector experienced the largest annual job gain in the Stockton market. Solano lost jobs in only one sector over the past 12 months, Other Services while the Trade, Transportation, & Utilities sector posted the greatest gains in this market.