The Bay Area's job market will continue to thrive even though the national and California economies have slowed to a halt, a prominent group of economic forecasters said in a report released Tuesday.
"The Bay Area has been adding jobs at a faster rate than the state and the nation," said Jerry Nickelsburg, a senior economist with the UCLA Anderson Forecast. "The Bay Area should be able to avoid the contraction that seems to be going on elsewhere."
Yet even in the Bay Area, employment growth hasn't been evenly distributed.
"The bulk of the growth is in Silicon Valley," Shulman said. "The rest of the Bay Area is doing OK, but not great."
In the first eight months of 2011, the South Bay gained 20,500 jobs, the San Francisco-San Mateo-Marin region added 12,300 jobs and the East Bay added 4,600.
The job base in the South Bay has grown by 2.4 percent over the first eight months of 2011. That's twice the pace of the Bay Area overall, and more than three times the growth rate of California's 0.7 percent.
Within the state, the coastal regions are doing better than the Central Valley and other inland areas, the Anderson researchers determined.
"The Bay Area, Orange County, San Diego and Ventura County are all expanding, in terms of job growth," Nickelsburg said.
Technology and exports are the primary fuel for the employment growth in those areas, the Anderson economists said.
The outlook for the country's economy is bleaker. "The national economy has stalled," said David Shulman, a senior economist with the Anderson Forecast. "It is not a recession. But the economy has flat-lined."
In August, the nation added zero jobs, California lost 8,400 payroll jobs, but the Bay Area added 7,200 jobs.
In the three months that ended in August, California added 17,400 payroll jobs, and the Bay Area added 24,800.
"There is a different dynamic at work in the Bay Area," Nickelsburg said. "We expect the Bay Area to continue to grow and be one of the economic leaders of California."
Contact George Avalos at 925-977-8477.
Source: UCLA Anderson Forecast