Economic News - August 21, 2020

August 21 2020

Covid-19 Economic Impact on Solano Economy

It goes without saying that the Covid-19 pandemic and the necessary public health care policy response continues to suppress the regional economy with an unemployment rate nearly three times the percentage rate of pre-Covid-19 months. As the region, like the rest of the State emerged from a complete “lock-down” we have been able to bring back a number of jobs and experience a greater number of our residents back to work.

The two-axis chart below shows both the unemployment rate and number of employed people as estimated by EDD between February 2020 and the latest estimate, July. It shows the initial shock of job loss between February and April, nearing 30,000, as well as a slow step of progress with 7,000 jobs returning between April and July. This is partially reflected in the unemployment rates gradual decline. 

Note: Employment rate and calculated unemployment rate are estimates of the activities of residents of Solano County regardless of place of work.

It is clear to see that slow job growth is and will be a reflection of the need to restrict certain businesses perceived to create greater opportunities for disease spread. This has been somewhat of a moving target as policy-makers use knowledge of the disease and numbers to find a certain short-term equilibrium between economic activities and preventing increasing infections.

In order to see the extent of new job creation (or loss) within the borders of Solano County, the primary source is Non Farm jobs estimated by EDD. These are jobs in the County, regardless of where employees reside. Similarly, the drop in jobs at the onset of Covid-19 totaled over 21,000. Since April, nearly 5,000 jobs have been reinstated or created, or roughly 24 percent of the jobs lost from the initial “stay at home” orders.

Over 96 percent of the jobs that have yet to return to pre-Covid levels are in the Service Providing Sectors. The chart below shows remaining jobs lost since February. By far, jobs losses have been the greatest in Leisure & Hospitality with 3,700, representing 23.7 percent of the Sector’s employment. Dine-in restaurants shed the greatest number of jobs, and while 1,700 jobs have returned with some openings and now primarily outside dining, there is still significant damage to the Sector. Government shed the second greatest number of jobs primarily from public education. A reduction of 3,000 education jobs represents nearly one-third of total Local Government Education positions.

Goods producing jobs represented a small portion of job loss with a net loss of 600 manufacturing jobs (2.4 percent), and no lost jobs in Mining, Logging and Construction.

The Solano EDC is a private non-profit organization created to improve the economic health of Solano County.  Solano Economic Resource Center (SERC) is a division of the EDC and provides economic research and marketing services for organizational partners, investors, and local jurisdictions in Solano and beyond. For inquiries please contact Robert Burris at