hiring.jpgThe number of jobs in the Bay Area has remained flat over the past year, according to a U.S. Department of Labor report released last week.

Total non-farm jobs for the San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont Metropolitan Statistical Area stood at 1,885,900 in July, essentially unchanged from the year prior. The area includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties.

Some 4,200 government jobs were shed since last July–representing the largest employment loss among all local industries. According to the report, federal government jobs shrank the most, with 3,300 jobs cut in the past 12 months. At 1.4 percent, the local rate of government jobs lost was better than the national rate of 2.7 percent.

The professional and business services industry grew by about 2.1 percent, adding 7,500 jobs. Nationally, this industry experienced job growth of about 2.8 percent.

Education and health services employment also expanded, growing by 1.8 percent, or 4,400 jobs, since July 2010.

Manufacturing added 1,100 jobs over the same period, with a local rate of job growth of 0.9 percent. However, this represents slower-paced growth compared to the national gain of 1.7 percent.

The local leisure and hospitality sector also grew slightly, by 0.4 percent, but this was also less than the national growth rate of 1.4 percent.

The San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont area was one of the nation’s 12 largest metropolitan statistical areas considered over the time period.

Eight of the 12 areas experienced growth in the last 12 months, with three–Houston, Boston and Dallas–experiencing growth greater than the national average of 1.0 percent.

In terms of where the Bay Area fell in that mix, only two of the 12 areas–Washington, D.C., and Atlanta–shed jobs, with employment declining by 0.3 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively. Like San Francisco, employment in Philadelphia was otherwise unchanged since last summer.

The statistics were compiled by the labor department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics using data from the Current Employment Statistics program, a federal-state effort.

Patricia Decker, Bay City News

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