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August 2012

Unemployment

Though California’s unemployment rates remained flat during July (10.7 percent), employment in the San Francisco Bay Area showed strong improvement: five of the area’s nine counties reported lower unemployment than in June. Only Marin saw a rise, inching up by .1 percentage point, though it continues to boast the state’s lowest rate, at 6.7 percent.


San Francisco, Napa, San Mateo, Sonoma, and Solano County each reported decreasing unemployment rates in July. Currently, they represent the state’s four counties with the best overall performance. 
Across California, Orange and Santa Barbara counties also reported rates below 8.0 percent—both 7.9 percent.  At 29.9 percent, Imperial County reported the state’s highest unemployment during July. Nationwide, unemployment rose in 44 states, resulting in a .1 percent increase in the national rate, to 8.3 percent. 

 

Bay Area Unemployment Rates
(Data Not Seasonally Adjusted)

 

County

Jul-12

Jun-12

Jul-11

Alameda

9.5%

9.5%

10.9%

Contra Costa

9.4%

9.4%

10.9%

Marin*

6.7%

6.6%

7.8%

Napa

7.7%

7.8%

8.8%

San Francisco

7.6%

7.8%

9.0%

San Mateo

7.0%

7.1%

8.7%

Santa Clara

8.7%

8.7%

10.1%

Solano

10.3%

10.5%

11.9%

Sonoma

8.6%

8.7%

10.2%
*Lowest in state. Source: CA-EDD
 

Housing

 

  All homes

Sales Volume

Median Price

Jul-11

Jul-12

%Chng

Jul-11

Jul-12

%Chng

Alameda

1,424

1,827

28.3%

$345,000

$385,000

11.6%

Contra Costa   

1,445

1,718

18.9%

$258,500

$308,000

19.1%

Marin          

232

338

45.7%

$640,000

$660,000

3.9%

Napa            

105

135

28.6%

$281,000

$372,500

32.6%

Santa Clara     

1584

1779

12.3%

$500,000

$565,000

13.0%

San Francisco

444

567

27.7%

$675,000

$714,000

5.8%

San Mateo       

570

822

44.2%

$568,000

$618,000

8.8%

Solano         

604

610

1.0%

$185,500

$188,000

1.3%

Sonoma          

479

665

38.8%

$306,500

$320,000

4.4%

Bay Area       

6,887

8,461

22.9%

$374,000

$421,000

12.6%

Source: DataQuick, www.DQNews.com
 

The Bay Area’s housing market continued its upward trend in July, with home sales rising on a year-over-year basis for the 13th month in a row. The median price paid for all homes and condos in the region, $421,000, was up 1.0 percent from June and 12.6 percent from July 2011, to its highest since August 2008 ($447,000).  According to DataQuick, this represents a slow re-balancing from the low-end bargain chasing seen in the past couple of years toward mid-and move-up markets.

Nationwide, and in San Francisco, the apartment market continues to show particularly strong performance. According to REIS research, the national vacancy fell by .2 percentage points to 4.7 percent.  Over the last 10 quarters, vacancy declines averaged .4 percentage points per period on a national level.      

Commercial Real Estate

Demand from the tech sector continued to drive San Francisco office lease transactions during July and August. In the first half of Q3, the city’s four largest technology tenants (Hotwire, Pinterest, New Relic, and Twilio) leased almost 250,000 square feet, expanding their current premises by more than 200 percent.  The average leasing term this summer was 56 months, slightly longer than the five-year average, though the average transaction size of 12,367 square feet remained close to historical averages. 

Tenants have also tended to favor high-quality space in the last month and a half, when Class A buildings accounted for a full 50 percent of leasing volume.  According to research by Colliers International, Class A rents in the Financial District averaged $46.95 per square foot during the first half of Q3 2012.

RealEstate

Venture Capital

According to PwC’s latest MoneyTree™ Report, more than $7 billion venture capital was invested in the US during the second quarter of 2012. The number of transactions has increased 11 percent, and total dollars invested increased 17 percent, since the first quarter, when $6 billion was invested in 809 deals.

The number of early-stage deals reached the highest quarterly total since 2001, with an 18 percent increase in dollars invested and a 28 percent increase in total deals over the previous quarter. Internet-oriented sectors saw the largest increase in funding (a 22 percent increase in dollars and 31 percent more deals), while the Life Sciences sector experienced a decline (a nine percent decrease in dollars and six percent fewer deals). 

The San Francisco Bay Area, with $3.2 billion investment, received by far the largest share of US venture capital; 46 percent of all US venture capital was invested here, up from 36 percent in the prior quarter.

RealEstate

Best Airport in the Americas

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has been named Best Airport in the Americas by the readers of Frequent Business Traveler, an online publication written for and by frequent business travelers. Award nominations were made by the publication’s editorial team of experienced travel journalists in more than 20 categories.

Recently, the airport has added nonstop service to Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Reagan National, Jackson Hole and Raleigh-Durham International.


Click here to learn more.

San Francisco is the new Technology Hub

San Francisco is fast becoming the new technology hub. Powered by affordable office leases relative to Silicon Valley, favorable business taxes, and the allure of a major city, tech companies are increasingly drawn to the City by the Bay. Companies are flocking to San Francisco to recruit top talent—often young designers and software engineers who prefer the urban landscape.  Rather than continuing to shuttle employees between San Francisco and Silicon Valley on Wi-Fi-equipped buses, companies are moving to the city. Established companies have been signing long-term leases, while small tech companies are setting up headquarters here. (And start-ups have always wanted to be around other start-ups.)
 
According to real estate services firm CBRE, San Francisco boasts the highest technology employment growth in the nation, nearly double that of the next two fastest-growing markets, New York City and Silicon Valley.  Today, the city hosts more than 36,600 tech jobs, or 13 percent higher than during the dot-com peak in 2001.


Click here to learn more.

Top Cities for Big Data Jobs

According to a report based on internal data from IT recruiting and staffing specialist Modis, San Francisco leads the pack when it comes to offering the best opportunities for a career in big data.  With its sizable presence of companies in the retail industry, insurance, health care and e-commerce, San Francisco came in first.  Washington D.C. placed second on the list due to its array of commercial and government data center operations which fuel demand for data processing experts.  New England’s largest city, Boston, placed third due to the large number of banking and bio/pharmaceutical industries that are looking for analysis and reports of large amounts of data that are detailed and complex in nature.


Click here to learn more.

Most Competitive Colleges in the US

Analyst Sperliing announced its ranking of the most competitive colleges in the US.  Several California and Bay Area colleges and universities are found in the top ranks, indicating that the region attracts a large share of the nation’s brightest.  California especially shines in the top public school rankings—the University of California system fills the top three slots, with nearly all incoming freshmen ranking in the top 10 percent of their high school class. 


Most Competitive Private Schools:

  1. Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
  2. Yale University (New Haven, CT)
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)
  4. Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)
  5. California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA)
  6. Stanford University (Stanford, CA)
  7. Columbia University (New York, NY)
  8. Brown University (Providence, RI)
  9. University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
  10. Washington University (St. Louis, MO)

Most Competitive Public Schools:

  1. University of California-Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
  2. University of California-Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
  3. University of California-San Diego (La Jolla, CA)
  4. College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, VA)
  5. University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)
  6. College of New Jersey (Ewing, NJ)
  7. SUNY Col. Arts & Science-Geneseo (Geneseo, NY)
  8. University of North Carolina At Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC)
  9. University of California-Irvine (Irvine, CA)
  10. Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo (San Luis Obispo, CA)

Click here to learn more.

 

QuickFacts is produced by the San Francisco Center for Economic Development (www.sfced.org). For more information please contact:

Dennis Conaghan
Executive Director
415.352.8819
Email: dconaghan@sfced.org
www.sfced.org

 
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