The Bay Area had one of the strongest job markets in the country in 2013, and revised figures released Friday show it was even stronger than initially thought.
Last year, the Bay Area added about 117,000 jobs -- 47,000 more than the original estimate of 70,000 jobs, this newspaper's analysis of figures from the state Employment Development Department shows. The revised numbers were all adjusted for seasonal changes.
"This is a blowout number for the Bay Area job market," said Stephen Levy, director of the Palo Alto-based Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy.
Santa Clara County and the San Francisco-San Mateo-Marin region remain the most robust job markets in the Bay Area. But the revised numbers also show that for the first time in the recovery, the East Bay is showing solid job growth.
In addition to the update for 2013, the state Friday reported on the job market in January. During that month the Bay Area suffered some job losses. The region lost 2,500 jobs, primarily due to losses of 2,100 in the San Francisco area, and 1,800 in the East Bay. The South Bay gained 500 jobs.
The report came the same day as figures came out for the country's job market. Nationwide, 175,000 nonfarm payroll jobs were added during February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. However, the jobless rate in the United States worsened to 6.7 percent, compared with 6.6 percent the month before. The California unemployment rate improved to 8.1 percent in January, compared with 8.3 percent in December.
Because of the work needed to prepare the annual revision for the labor market in California, the state EDD won't release the February employment report for the state until late this month.
The upward revisions for the job markets in California and the Bay Area also showed that the employment rebound has broadened and now reaches many more geographic areas.
California wound up with 156,000 more jobs in 2013 than originally thought, the EDD information shows. Compared with the initial estimate, Santa Clara County and the San Francisco-San Mateo-Marin area each added 11,000 more jobs. But the East Bay upswing was dramatic: The initial estimate for the East Bay was a gain last year of 2,000 jobs, while the latest estimate is that it added 24,000 jobs.
"The center for job growth in the Bay Area remains Santa Clara County, the Peninsula, and San Francisco, but now the East Bay is back in the game," Levy said. "Growth is now spreading to the areas that had been left behind by the recovery, and that now includes the East Bay."
Over the 12 months that ended in January, total jobs expanded at a rate of 4.5 percent in Santa Clara County, 3.2 percent in the San Francisco metro area, and 1.7 percent in the East Bay. Overall, the Bay Area job market grew by 3.1 percent during the year.
By comparison, total nonfarm payroll jobs during the 12 months that ended in January expanded by 2.1 percent in California and by 1.6 percent nationwide.
The job growth has brought the Bay Area to within 120,000 jobs of the record high of monthly employment, a mark set in January 2001.
"The strong job market is creating jobs and raising income," said Scott Anderson, chief economist with San Francisco-based Bank of the West. "You will see more demand for retail services, restaurants, other consumer services."
Despite the upswing, some job seekers continue to struggle to find work.
"I had a full-time job two years ago, but now all I can get is contract work," said Shan Latifi, a San Jose resident who is experienced in Web and graphic design. "Companies don't have to hire people full time right now in my profession."
Despite January's dip, experts said the long-term trend is the key.
"The recovery is absolutely going to continue," Levy said. "You have tech staying strong, tourism is strong, foreign trade is strong. And now you will have some of the previously weak sectors start to improve."
Contact George Avalos at 408-859-5167. Follow him at Twitter.com/georgeavalos.