Oakland area job market will cool during 2017: forecast
OAKLAND — The East Bay job market will cool during 2017 compared with 2016, according to a forecast about the region’s economy that Beacon Economics released Thursday.
During 2017, total payroll jobs are expected to increase by “at least 1.5 percent,” Beacon Economics predicted. That would be a sharp slowdown from the growth of 3.1 percent that occurred in 2016, according to seasonally adjusted figures from the state’s Employment Development Department.
The 3.1 percent growth in 2016 outpaced the national rate of job creation of 2.2 percent, Beacon noted in its report, which Beacon presented Thursday to the East Bay Economic Development Alliance.
Over the past two years, the once-battered construction industry has become the East Bay’s greatest source of economic strength, Beacon reported.
“From a longer-term perspective, the East Bay’s construction sector has led in percentage gains, increasing payrolls by 12.9 percent from February 2015 to February 2017 and outpacing every other major industry,” Beacon reported.
That suggested that both East Bay cities and developers are acting on the need for additional projects.
“Cities are recognizing the pressing need for more office space and housing,” Beacon reported. “Developers are continuing to take notice of the immense opportunities in the East Bay for residential and commercial developments.”
The East Bay’s economic mix is considerably different than it was 20 years ago, the Beacon report disclosed.
In 2017, health care commanded the largest share of private sector jobs of any industry in the Alameda County-Contra Costa County area, with 14.4 percent of the payroll jobs in the region. That’s up from 9.9 percent in 1997.
In 1997, manufacturing was the largest private sector industry in the East Bay, with 11.6 percent of the jobs at that time. Currently, manufacturing has 7.7 percent of all payroll jobs in the area.
Both in 2017 and 1997, government was the single largest employment sector, with 15.4 percent of the share of all payroll jobs this year, which was less than the 17.8 percent share 20 years ago, according to Beacon.
Rounding out the top five private sector industries after health care’s 14.4 percent share: The technology industry, a combination of professional, scientific and technical services and information services and products, had 10.9 percent of the share of all payroll jobs; leisure and hospitality, which includes hotels and restaurants, had 9.9 percent; retail had 9.7 percent; and manufacturing was No. 5 with its 7.7 percent share.
In numerous instances, East Bay residents are commuting to other parts of the Bay Area for work.
“The East Bay region has a significant share of outbound commuters,” Beacon reported. “In 2015, roughly 33.1 percent of workers in the East Bay commuted out of the area each day, with San Francisco County and Santa Clara County as the most popular destinations.”