Economic News – January 2021January 26 2021
Covid-19 Economic Impact on Solano Economy
The monthly unemployment rate saw an increase in Solano County and all of the cities within. While the rate is still significantly lower than its highest rate at the beginning of the pandemic, it increased by 1.3% from November to December. Why the change? The primary factor again this month was labor force, as this number increased by 2,500, countering a loss in labor force of 4,100 between October and November. Because this is the denominator of the unemployment equation, this puts additional pressure on the jobs balance to maintain the same growth, which it did not. In fact, the County lost an estimated 400 jobs during the month.
Overall, Non-Farm employment (jobs existing in the County as opposed to people employed regardless of job location) increased by 200 jobs. Construction continues to show stability, boosted strong real estate demand and conducive weather to date. Sectors such as Professional & Bus. Services, Information, and Manufacturing all showed incremental improvement during the month. Trade, Transportation & Utilities increased by 700, boosted by holiday retail hiring. Conversely, the “Stay at Home” order that was declared nearly statewide had a detrimental effect on the Leisure & Hospitality Sector, showing an additional loss of 400 jobs during the month, now 4,200 jobs lower than its peak at the beginning of 2020. Food service-related businesses make up the bulk of the Sector and are now down in jobs by just over 26 percent from peak months. Other significant losses occurred in Government, primarily in public education.
As shown above, Solano County experienced a moderate net growth of 200 jobs. A positive note is that jobs have grown consistently in every month since July, adding 6,200 during that five-month period. This is an indication of a degree of resiliency and a better understanding of how to navigate business during the pandemic. We may see a leveling or maybe slight decline in this number next month with post-holiday shedding of employment in the retail sector, further fall out in the food service and personal services industries from the “Stay at Home” order, and roll out of budget-tightening plans for public institutions.
The overall jobs picture in Solano County can be characterized as “stunted”. Demand still seems to be stable, however the inability to deliver services due to the pandemic will continue to cap business activities in the sector until the pandemic is brought under control and restrictions loosened.
As I mentioned in the last newsletter, we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel with the approval and distribution (albeit slow) of two vaccines, possibly a third soon, the pull back of the “Stay at Home” order for the Bay Area region, and a gradual leveling and reduction of infection and Hospital/ICU numbers.
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 email@example.com.