Silicon Valley’s unemployment rate increased to 3.2 percent in January due in part to a drop in seasonal employment and a significant spike in COVID-19 cases that occurred before the holidays.
Employers in Silicon Valley cut nearly 13,400 workers between mid-December and mid-January, according to Robin Doran, a spokesperson for Joint Venture Silicon Valley. That decline represents more than half of the job gains experienced between mid-October and mid-December of last year.
The region — identified as Santa Clara County and the southern portions of Alameda and San Mateo counties — saw the total number of unemployed workers rise to 47,500 by mid-January, representing a decrease of nearly 5,000 since mid-December.
Total employment in the region is up nearly 171,000 since April 2020, and the initial job losses associated with the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Joint Venture Silicon Valley, this represents job growth of 13.5 percent over that nine-month period. The January unemployment rate in Silicon Valley was 2.5 percentage points lower than in January 2021, and 8.8 percentage points lower than April 2020.