Unemployment rose to 3.3% in Silicon Valley, but there was some good news in the latest report

The unemployment rate rose from February to March, but the workforce and jobs were up too. The number of discouraged workers, those who have given up looking for a job, also fell.

Unemployment rose to 3.3% in Silicon Valley, but there was some good news in the latest report

In March, the San Jose metro area's unemployment rate increased slightly despite an increase of jobs.

In a Friday news release, the Employment Development Department of the state said that the unemployment rate for the entire region, which includes both Santa Clara County and San Benito County, increased from 3.2% to 3.3.%. The two-county area saw a net gain of 5,500 new jobs over the same time period.

This apparent contradiction arises from the fact that the workforce expanded between February and March. According to EDD, between February and march, 7,700 new workers in the metro area entered the workforce.

In recent months, unemployment in the area has risen repeatedly. Santa Clara County's unemployment rate peaked at 2% in May last year. In March, at 3.2%, the rate reached its highest level since last January. In San Benito County the unemployment rate was 6.7% in march -- its highest level since January 2022. It had also risen from a low rate of 4% in October.

The increase in hiring comes after numerous layoffs by tech companies in the region.

Nevertheless, the data contained some positive news. The two counties saw their highest number of workers since February 2020. This was just before the Covid-19 pandemic began in the region. The number of people working in the metro region was also at its highest since the same month.

According to EDD data, administrative and support services lost the most jobs in March. They shed 1,600 or 2.5% compared to February. Construction also lost 1,200 or 2.2%. In contrast, ambulatory healthcare services gained 1,600 jobs or 3.2% month-over-month.

The computer and electronics product manufacturing sector, as a whole, lost 100 jobs between February and March, or 0.1%. The Professional, Scientific and Technical Services sector added 100 jobs from February to March, or 0.1%.