The Bay Area Council Economic Institute’s Economic Outlook to Start 2021

A leading think tank in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Bay Area Council Economic Institute reported mixed and troubling outcomes for the Bay Area’s regional economy for the latter half of 2020. Like much of the U.S., the Bay Area suffered greatly from the pandemic impact and related governmental shutdowns. However, January 2021 data show resilience and promise for the Northern California region despite continued closures and the departure of residents and businesses.

The start of 2021 reveals bleak employment data: the Bay Area lost 20,900 jobs in Leisure and Hospitality. More broadly, regional unemployment increased to 6.8% in December. The Bay Area only added 17,300 jobs in November, down from 32,900 in October and well below pre-Covid customary employment gains.

Between April and December, the Bay Area recovered just under 40% of the jobs lost between February and April. This job recovery rate is lower than the recovery rates around the United States. San Francisco’s jobs recovery rate is approximately 5–10% lower than other Bay Area cities of Santa Rosa, Napa, Vallejo and San Jose.

Numerous companies have shifted corporate headquarters and jobs out the region, in part due to high taxes, high costs of doing business in the region and high housing costs. These factors affects governmental revenue and the vibrancy of the local economy, in part through less spending. The Bay Area Council is working on policies and initiatives to stem and reverse the exodus from the Bay Area.

Some experts predict mid-2021 economic news to be brighter due to additional governmental stimulus; additional vaccine distribution; the President Biden administration immigration plans potentially bringing additional skilled labor in the region; and infrastructure plan with increased spending.

Aaron interned for the Bay Area Council & Economic Institute in 2015. Aaron analyzed economic, transit and sector-specific data and produced graphs and narratives for internal use and committees. Aaron also Drafted reports for the Workforce Housing and the Commute Improvement Initiatives.

Aaron is New York University (NYU) graduate with commercial and residential real estate experience. Aaron presently attends Georgetown Law, where he is expected to graduate in May 2021.

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Aaron Reuben

Aaron Reuben grew up in San Francisco and graduated from NYU. Aaron is in his final year at Georgetown Law in Washington, DC where he studies business law.