By George Avalos /
The economies of Santa Clara County and the San Francisco-San Mateo region no longer are the hottest in the nation.Instead, fast-growing metro areas in Florida and Texas have jumped into the lead in the United States, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics survey released Friday. Over the 12 months that ended in January, total payroll jobs in Santa Clara County grew 3.8 percent.
That’s robust growth for Santa Clara County. However, it’s nowhere near the 5 percent pace of annual job growth that the South Bay has enjoyed over the last few years.The San Francisco-San Mateo region’s job totals increased by 4.3 percent over the one-year period that ended in January.The East Bay posted an annual jobs growth rate of 2.8 percent.
Some economists believe Santa Clara County and San Francisco have already seen their best days in the current economic cycle.The slowdown in the rate of annual growth has occurred partly because, analysts say, the technology sector doesn’t appear to be hiring as rapidly as previously.
Which areas are leading the pack now? At least one of the red-hot metro areas tends to raise the hackles of political leaders in California.The Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford region of Florida was the fastest-growing U.S. metro area of 1 million residents or more, posting annual job gains of 4.9 percent during the one-year period that ended in January. No. 2 was the Austin-Round Rock metro in Texas, which grew 4.7 percent over the 12 months. Jacksonville, Fla. was No. 3, growing by 4.5 percent, the BLS survey found.