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Cover image for the CBPR report on COVID-19. COVID-19 will lead to record high unemployment rates across Northern California by May, according to the Center for Business and Policy Research (CBPR) at the University of the Pacific. The center estimates the loss of 1.25 million jobs and a peak unemployment rate of 17.7% in Northern California and a statewide loss of more than 3.8 million jobs with an unemployment rate of 18.8%.

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CBPR report: COVID-19 could led to 19-20% unemployment in California by May

Apr 8, 2020

COVID-19 will lead to record high unemployment rates across Northern California by May, according to the Center for Business and Policy Research (CBPR) at the University of the Pacific. The center estimates the loss of 1.25 million jobs and a peak unemployment rate of 17.7% in Northern California and a statewide loss of more than 3.8 million jobs with an unemployment rate of 18.8%. 

Impacts will vary across Northern California Metro Areas, although all areas will set new records for unemployment and job loss. Due to its heavy reliance on travel and tourism, the Napa economy is the hardest hit with a projected 29% loss in jobs and a peak unemployment rate of 22%. The tech-oriented San Jose economy will see the smallest economic losses with a projected 18% decline in jobs and a 15% unemployment rate. The North San Joaquin Valley and Sacramento areas will see impacts close to the statewide average with unemployment rates of 19-20%, and about a 22% loss in jobs across these inland regions.

The report also finds that the benefits of stay-at-home and social distancing policies are worth these significant economic costs, and cautions against using these projections to argue for ending these necessary public health regulations. The report does not forecast the path for economic recovery. To estimate the impacts, the CBPR used a bottom-up approach based on occupational risks and the distribution of occupations across local economies with adjustments for self-employment and regional commuting patterns.

The full report and one-page factsheets for Northern California MSAs are available online.

The CBPR was founded in 2004 as the Business Forecasting Center. The center is a joint program of the Eberhardt School of Business and the McGeorge School of Law programs in public policy and has offices at the Sacramento and Stockton campuses. For more information, visit Go.Pacific.edu/CBPR.


Media contracts:

Jeff Michael | 209.946.7385 (Office) | 209.662.5247 (Cell) | jmichael@pacific.edu

Thomas Pogue | 209.946.2913 (Office) | 209.327.2783 (Cell) | tpogue@pacific.edu

 

Summary of Impacts by Region.

 

Unemployment Rate

Payroll Jobs

 

May 2020 estimate

2019

2010

2019

COVID-19 impact

%change

California

18.8%

4.0%

12.2%

 17,382,400

-3,859,030

-22.2%

Northern California Megaregion

17.7%

3.4%

11.6%

5,894,840

-1,247,070

-21.2%

North San Joaquin Valley Area

20.2%

6.3%

16.9%

514,280

-115,470

-22.5%

  • Stockton-Lodi MSA

20.1%

5.9%

16.5%

252,870

-56,250

-22.2%

  • Modesto MSA

20.2%

6.0%

16.9%

186,350

-42,870

-23.0%

  • Merced MSA

20.5%

8.1%

18.0%

75,060

-16,350

-21.8%

Sacramento Area

18.6%

3.8%

12.7%

1,058,540

-232,100

-21.9%

  • Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade MSA

18.5%

3.6%

12.4%

1,013,740

-221,610

-21.9%

  • Yuba City MSA

19.6%

6.7%

18.1%

44,800

-10,500

-23.4%

San Francisco Bay Area

17.0%

2.7%

10.2%

4,040,080

-834,780

-20.7%

  • San Francisco–Oakland–Berkeley MSA

17.1%

2.6%

9.9%

2,472,100

-521,670

-21.1%

  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara MSA

15.3%

2.6%

10.5%

1,140,870

-204,460

-17.9%

  • Napa MSA

22.1%

2.8%

10.3%

77,300

-22,010

-28.5%

  • Santa Rosa MSA

19.0%

2.7%

10.8%

207,850

-51,780

-24.9%

  • Vallejo-Fairfield MSA

19.8%

3.8%

12.5%

141,960

-34,870

-24.6%

Monterey Bay Area

19.4%

5.6%

12.9%

281,940

-64,720

-23.0%

  • Salinas MSA

19.4%

6.2%

12.7%

182,970

-39,240

-21.4%

  • Santa Cruz-Watsonville MSA

19.3%

4.8%

13.3%

98,970

-25,480

-25.7%

Fresno MSA

20.7%

7.3%

16.7%

387,920

-82,250

-21.2%

 

 

 

 

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