ISEA Employment Analysis


Northern California Outperforms Southern California in Job Growth

Silicon Valley and Bay Area leading the pack; Sacramento Area and San Diego County lagging behind

This month, ISEA study finds year-over-year job growth in Northern California has outperformed Southern California especially Silicon Valley and the Bay Area where job growth has been strengthened to a great extent. Job growth in Southern California appears more even with moderate job growth more geographically widespread especially in Los Angeles County where there are more areas showing moderate job growth and less idling areas this month. However, San Diego County is less fortunate this month remaining idling or even worse shedding jobs in a few locations. In addition, the surrounding areas of Sacramento, Modesto, and Madera are still shedding jobs.

The overall month-over-month job growth in California is getting worse this month. Most areas in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area have stepped back to the idling status; even worse a few locations in Los Angeles County and the Central Valley have started shedding jobs this month. However, there are still places showing promising job increases this month such as Yuba City, Santa Rosa, Fresno, Bakersfield, Santa Barbara, and scattered locations in Orange County where have seen moderate job growth (1% to 3%) or even better significant job growth (more than 3%) in Yuba City.

Year-over-Year Metro Market Findings in Southern California


  • The year-over-year job growth in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties has slightly accelerated with 0.93% job increase in general, however with more areas idling and two pockets shedding jobs compared to last month.
  • Most areas in Inland Empire show moderate job growth (1% to 3%) this month with a few locations showing significant job growth (more than 3%) such as Rialto, Adelanto, area west to Blue Jay, and area east to Woodcrest; however a few locations have stepped back to idling status this month such as the areas around Hesperia, Chino Hills, Norco, Yucaipa, San Jacinto, and the area between Temecula and Aguanga, even worse Crafton and El Casco started shedding jobs this month (1% to 3% job losses).


  • The year-over-year job growth in Los Angeles County is getting better this month with more areas adding jobs; however the patchy pattern still remains, i.e. areas showing moderate job increases (1% to 3%) or significant job growth (more than 3%) are next to the areas showing idling (-1% to 1%). 
  • In addition to South Pasadena, La Verne, and Downey where we had seen significant job growth (more than 3%) last month, Burbank, Whittier, Walnut, area west to Beverly Hills, area west to Cerritos, area south to Santa Clarita have been added to the dark green zone (more than 3% job growth) this month; however, the central area in LA county, Beverly Hills, San Fernando, area west to Santa Clarita still remain in the idling status.


  • The overall year-over-year job growth in Orange County has improved to a great extent this month (1.93% job increase) with more areas showing moderate job growth (1% to 3%) and a few pockets showing significant job growth (more than 3%). 
  • Area east to Irvine, Lake Forest, and Mission Viejo have stepped out of idling status and started adding jobs (1% to 3% job growth) this month; even better, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, La Palma, Anaheim, Fullerton, Tustin, and a large area along 405 west to Irvine have shown significant job growth (more than 3%) this month.


  • The year-over-year job growth in San Diego County remains in the yellow zone i.e. most areas still appear idling (-1% to 1% job growth) with a few locations shedding jobs this month.
  • Area east to Rancho Santa Fe, Grove, Case de Oro, and La Presa where we had seen moderate (1% to 3%) to significant job growth (more than 3%) last month have stepped in the idling status (-1% to 1% job growth) this month; San Luis Rey, Coronado, Rancho Santa Fe, and the Escondido area are still in the orange zone (1% to 3% job losses) this month.

The researchers combined today’s data release on employment by industry from the California Employment Development Department with business pattern data by Zip code and industry from the U.S. Census Bureau to arrive at their projected values. The researchers point out that, given the data available to them, their projected values are only rough approximations of the true values, and that accuracy is higher for counties with larger populations. Despite those shortcomings, the observed patterns should still be helpful for decision makers in politics, businesses and organizations to determine where to best direct their efforts.

About the Institute for Spatial Economic Analysis

The Institute for Spatial Economic Analysis (ISEA) serves regional, national and global business and government leaders in their needs to better understand how socio-economic phenomena affect their communities. A division of the University of Redlands School of Business, ISEA publishes ongoing, timely reports covering retail, employment, housing, logistics and other special topics. A key distinction is its ability to illustrate economic trends and patterns through the use of geo-spatial mapping techniques. In addition, ISEA’s ability to provide Zip code level analysis for many of its reports provides unprecedented detail. Current ISEA economic data and interactive maps may be found at

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