Employment Impacts of COVID-19 on Northern California

The COVID-19 pandemic has had very different impacts on employment across the sub-regions of the Northern California Megaregion (NCMR). This report analyzes those differences through the first six months of the pandemic using a high-quality dataset based on employer tax filings, and provides a more accurate picture than early estimates based on surveys and unemployment insurance claims. The data shows the North San Joaquin Valley (NSJV) has been the most resistant to job loss in the first six months of the pandemic, while the North Bay area and San Francisco have experienced the highest level of job loss.

We find that the hardest hit workers in Northern California occupy low-wage service jobs based in tourism-dependent locations and high-income communities with many remote workers. The report also shows average wages have increased sharply over the past year, in large part because so many low-paying jobs have been lost. Following a summary overview, the report discusses the situation in each sub-region of the NCMR with county specific employment trends and industry level details of regional change in employment and wages.