Cross fertilization of jobs, education, and housing have stepped up in the past six years further blurring economic lines between the Bay Area and the Northern San Joaquin Valley.
Thomas Pogue, an associate director for the Center for Business and Research at the University of Pacific, made that point during his assessment of the regional economy at last week’s State of the City event staged by the Manteca Chamber of Commerce at the Manteca Transit Center.
Pogue illustrated his point noting a graduate student who works for him in Stockton is taking classes in San Francisco and lives in Manteca.
“Manteca is well positioned to take advantage (of cross fertilization),” Pogue said.
While reverse commuting over the Altamont Pass has existed to some degree over the past 20 years, it has manifested in new ways during the recovery that saw job growth in the Bay Area lead the nation. It is being forced by a combination of factors including high job growth in the Bay Area that has an extremely tight housing market, the cost of doing business in the Bay Area for non-tech firms such as those in the distribution sector, and the growing use of commuter rail via the Altamont Corridor Express.
The “cross fertilization” trend was noted last year by the San Jose Mercury News in highlighting a small but growing number of high school students whose families moved to the Northern San Joaquin Valley to secure affordable housing that were allowed to continue attending their old schools. They were able to do so by riding ACE from stations in Tracy and Lathrop-Manteca.
Pogue cited research that showed the number of jobs during the past decade increased 23.5 percent in San Francisco, 18.3 percent in San Jose, 9.2 percent in the East Bay, 6.4 percent in San Joaquin County, 6.2 percent in Sacramento, 4.9 percent in Los Angeles, 10 percent in Fresno, 10 percent in San Diego and 7.4 percent in Bakersfield.
Manteca as well as Lathrop with the combined sales of new homes exceeding 1,200 a year is the direct result of job growth in the Bay Area outstripping or nearly matching population growth while at the same time new housing opportunities are becoming scarce west of the Altamont.
Pogue noted between 2011 and 2016 San Francisco added 91,400 people against 113,300 new jobs.
“That’s highly unusual,” Pogue said of job growth exceeding population growth in a defined region or area.
For the same period the San Jose area added 113,300 residents and 103,900 jobs. Meanwhile the Sacramento area added 121,000 residents and 26,700 jobs while San Joaquin County added 39,100 residents and 8,900 new jobs.
“There is clearly a lot of net migration into the Northern San Joaquin Valley due to the influence of the Bay Area,” Pogue said. “Manteca is experiencing that right now (with its robust housing growth).”
Pogue noted that it offered Manteca a lot of economic opportunities as well as challenges.
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