Economic News – November 2020November 30 2020
Very slowly, jobs are coming back to the economy as businesses, especially small businesses are learning to navigate the health restrictions intended to combat the spread of Covid-19. Of the 27,300 jobs lost in the early months of the pandemic, as of October, 19,400 had returned. In addition, of the 9,100 people that “left” the labor force, 8,400 have returned. October showed the largest monthly increase in jobs since the beginning of the pandemic, 8,500.
Unemployment rates have dipped well below double figures in five of seven cities in Solano, and in the County as a whole. The jobless rate is also below the State unemployment rate of 9.0%.
Note: Employment rate and calculated unemployment rate are estimates of the activities of residents of Solano County regardless of place of work. Looking at jobs within Solano County let us see how business activities are starting to resume within our borders.
The graph above shows two pieces of information: in blue, the net increase or decrease in jobs from March to September. In orange, that additional change from October’s estimates. In all but Professional & Business Services and Manufacturing, there was an increase in jobs. The largest additions were seen in Leisure & Hospitality (primarily food services), Trade, Transportation & Utilities (primarily retail), and the continued growth of Construction, now exceeding pre-Covid-19 levels.
The effects of reopening eating establishments, retail stores, and other service establishments can clearly be seen in the figures. What is not known is to what degree these employees are being hired back at reduced hours, temporary shifts, possibly reduced wages, and tentative scheduling.
At the same time there was a significant increase in employed residents of Solano during the last month, the number of jobs being created within the County showed another month of slow steady increase, roughly 800 jobs. Since April, roughly 9,500 jobs of the 21,300 lost have returned.
While there is a better understanding of how the Covid-19 virus spreads, and along with that a greater understanding of reducing risk while operating a business, Covid-19 conditions have dramatically worsened in the recent weeks, and increased regulations on businesses have followed as the County was moved to the most restrictive tier, purple. It is likely that with home gatherings and celebrations during the holidays, conditions will most likely not improve through the remainder of the year.
Whether or not a “bump” in seasonal hiring will be enough to offset likely job losses from restrictions remains to be seen.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.