The “Economy of the NSJV” section consists of multiple subcategories containing a number of indicators such as employment, output, agriculture, and small business.
Key findings for this section include the following:
- Strong employment growth continues across the NSJV, but it has slowed to 3% growth from 4.7% last year. Job growth remains the best performing economic indicator in the North San Joaquin Valley.
- Unemployment in the NSJV dropped below 10% in 2015, the lowest the rate has been since 2008. After several years of declining labor force participation which contributed to the declining unemployment rate, the North San Joaquin Valley labor force began growing again in 2015, a positive sign of an improving job market.
- Revised estimates show the value of NSJV production (GDP) growing better than previously believed. After adjusting for inflation, 2014 GDP was slightly below pre-recession highs and in 2015 those levels were exceeded because of 4.2% annual growth.
- While real per capita income continued to increase modestly, median household incomes remained below their pre-recession levels. However, average wages increased substantially across the NSJV in 2015 after being stagnant for more than a decade and should support continued income growth.
- The value of agricultural production in the NSJV rose to $12.1 billion in 2014 but dropped to $10.2 billion in 2015 as key commodity prices dropped significantly and drought constrained some production. Farm wages continued their increasing trend in 2015. While data on net farm income is not yet available for 2015, it seems clear that net farm income dropped substantially from the record level of 2014 as a result of these revenue declines and cost increases.
- The regional economy’s knowledge intensity remains low compared to the nation and the global power of the nearby Bay Area. However, during the past decade, knowledge intensity of the NSJV’s economy, measured by patents per employee, has risen by 135% exceeding both state-wide and national growth rates.