(Photo courtesy of Lasseter Winery via Unsplash)

Sonoma County had the most agricultural employees in the Bay Area as of September 2019, according to the latest data available. 

Ag employment —  which includes laborers, supervisors and other workers — averaged 7,382 jobs in Sonoma County, more than twice as many as in Santa Clara County, according to data from Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.  

Compared with August, September employment grew by 256 jobs in Sonoma County and was slightly higher in Santa Clara County. Four counties saw agricultural employment grow in the same period while three counties experienced job losses in the agricultural sector. 

Here’s how the counties ranked in last year’s third quarter.1. Sonoma County — 7,3822. Santa Clara County — 3,4203. Solano County — 1,7254. San Mateo County — 1,2905. Contra Costa County — 9326. Alameda County — 7397. San Francisco — 2248. Marin County — * (*not available)9. Marin County — * (* not available)Although employment overall is declining due to the coronavirus pandemic, a professor of agricultural economics said that overall ag employment in California is likely to change very little. 

“I do not expect significant changes in agricultural employment in 2020,” said Philip Martin, a agricultural economics professor at UC Davis.

That said, below the surface, employment in some agricultural industries may change. Job numbers in the flower business are expected to be down while employment in the cannabis industry is expected to rise, Martin said. 

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Philip Martin, UC Davis