Bay Area defies tech layoffs, powers big job gains in December

The Bay Area posted big job gains during December, a rise that countered the impact of months of tech layoff announcements and accounted for the vast majority of California’s job gains, a report showed Friday.

“Despite frequent headlines about layoffs in the tech sector, Bay Area employers expanded payrolls in December,” said Taner Osman, research manager at Beacon Economics.

Still, on Friday, Mountain View-based Google revealed it would cut 12,000 jobs worldwide, the largest cut in the company’s history. While no specific jobs or locations have been secured, the move will have a significant impact on the tech giant’s Bay Area workforce.

The twin job announcements — one encouraging, one discouraging — have created challenges for those trying to divine the true strength of the Bay Area economy.

“We don’t see anything catastrophic happening with technology,” said Patrick Kallerman, vice president of research at the Bay Area Council Economics Institute. “I don’t see the tech industry collapsing.”

The good news: Bay Area employers added 13,600 jobs last month, down from 84% of California’s December job gains, the state Department of Employment Development reported Friday.

The San Francisco-San Mateo region added 6,400 jobs, the East Bay gained 3,100 positions and Santa Clara County added 1,800 jobs, according to the EDD. All figures are seasonally adjusted. The EDD reports that California added a total of 16,200 jobs in December.

“California continues to lead the nation’s economy,” Governor Gavin Newsom said in prepared remarks about the EDD’s latest employment report. “December capped a year of consecutive monthly job gains in 2022.”

The statewide unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1%

Even so, tech layoff announcements continue to rise. Friday’s Google news was preceded by an announcement Thursday from Intel — the chipmaker said it was cutting about 200 jobs in Santa Clara.

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