Which Way Is Up? Bay Area Economy Still Struggling

Posted by Expert Gadget Reviewer on Monday, 27 July 2009

Proverb said: "It's always darkest before the dawn..." I hope that is true, because it's pretty dark right now!

May 2009 Economic numbers for the San Francisco East Bay Area tell a gruesome tale of woe with unemployment rising to 10.4% (up 85% from the estimate of 5.6% last May). California's unadjusted unemployment rate is 11.2%.

In a glimmer of positive news, the East Bay actually gained 600 payroll jobs between April and May of 2009 (I'm trying to remain positive!).

The gains came in Leisure, Hospitality and Trade, and in Transportation and Utilities (not usually seen as a hotbed of activity for architectural, interior design, or office furniture projects). Unfortunately these gains offset losses in Construction, Manufacturing, Business Services, and Government, typically buyers of architectural and interior design services, and office furniture products (ouch!).

No shocker that the dollar value of commercial building permits throughout the San Francisco Bay Area fell dramatically when comparing the period of (June 2007 - May 2008) to (June 2008 - May 2009) East Bay: -42.6 % and San Francisco: -55.5%.

This posting is going to end on some good news - the New York Times this morning reported a sharp rise in home sales (click HERE to read the full article), and the stock price of most publicly traded office furniture manufacturers continues to rise (indicating that at least today, Wall Street sees a future in industry).