San Mateo Co. has lowest unemployment rate in California

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On the same day markets took a deep hit, the financial outlook in California, and especially the Bay Area, got a big boost. (KGO-TV)

On the same day markets took a deep hit, the financial outlook in California, and especially the Bay Area, got a big boost. The state jobless rate dropped to 6.2 percent in July, the lowest since before the Great Recession of 2008.

The Bay Area is leading the way on the job front. New numbers out Friday show our region as having some of the lowest unemployment rates in the Golden State, with the lowest being in San Mateo County.

Santa Clara County's unemployment rate is just 4.3 percent. Marin is even better at 3.7 percent.

San Mateo County has the lowest unemployment in the state at 3.6 percent.

Because of these low rates, there's more competition for quality candidates. Business owners say the game has changed.

At Jack's Restaurant and Bar in San Mateo, manager David Jones is spending his third month on the job after working the past decade in San Francisco.

"I moved back to the East Bay and the commute was an hour and a half there and an hour back. It was just too much," Jones said.

When it came time to make a move, Jones had three different offers on the table, a testament to not only his impressive resume but the demand for top talent.

In fact, San Mateo County now has the lowest unemployment rate in California at just 3.6 percent.

Grace Redman, who owns and operates Stansbury Staffing in San Mateo, says more of her clients want a work-life balance and as a result, employers can't be as picky as they used to be.

Some even offer more money to be competitive and are having to take into account other factors.

"The needs of not only the recent college grads but those transitioning back into the work force, so they're able to retain, not only hire, but retain the talent as well," Redman said.

But despite the competition, Shawn Leong, a third-generation florist at Ah Sam, says it's still all about finding the right fit.

"Primarily our candidates come from referrals, because it's a family business, and something we want people to be engaged in and like what they do," Leong said.

The same goes for Jones, who does the hiring at Jack's. "Our staff is so strong that we want people just like them so that we don't have to roll the dice on a Craigslist ad, which you never know what you're going to get with that," Jones said.

Businesses are facing a new reality, while holding on to what they want and need.
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