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Center for Business and Policy Research
Eberhardt School of Business
Jeffrey Michael, PhD - Exec. Director
Thomas Pogue, PhD - Assoc. Dir.
Sacramento Office: 916.340.6084
Stockton Office: 209.946.2913

Estimated Employment Impacts of COVID-19 on Northern California

COVID-19 will lead to record high unemployment rates across Northern California by May, according to the Center for Business and Policy Research 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 over 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 Center 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.

 Download Report PDFs

Full Report including
all MSAs
Individual MSAs
Report cover California Fresno
Merced Modesto
Napa Sacramento
Salinas San Jose
Santa Cruz Santa Rosa
SF-Oakland Stockton
Vallejo Yuba