Long Road Ahead For Bay Area Jobless Rate

Unemployment has skyrocketed across the county and here in California, with the state’s unemployment rate rising to 15.5% in April.

Jobless rates are a little bit lower in parts of the Bay Area - especially San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

"If you look at places like San Francisco and Silicon Valley compared to the rest of the country, there’s more tech jobs, more professional-type jobs, more jobs that have the ability to work remotely," Bay Area Council Economic Institute Executive Director Jeff Bellisario said.

While many jobs are likely to come back when businesses reopen, Bellisario believes we shouldn’t expect the economy to bounce back immediately.

"We think it’s going to be a slower recovery maybe because people have lost jobs (and) those wages are just not in the economy right now," Bellisario said. "I also think there’s just a lot of uncertainty (that) falls on the consumer side and the business side."

Confidence is important because spending drives the economy.

Bellisario said that given the state of the job losses, even in the Bay Area, it likely will take years to get the economy back to where it was before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

"The reporting says that nearly 3/4 of people believe that they are furloughed or told they are furloughed," Bellisario said. "But it’s likely that the longer that this crisis continues, and the longer that certain aspects of the economy are closed up, that those jobs may actually become permanent layoffs."

More than 2.4 million people nationwide filed for unemployment last week in the latest wave of layoffs from business shutdowns, according to figures provided by the U.S. Department of Labor.