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The presidential campaigns for the Democratic and Republican parties are trading barbs over whether the national economy is better or worse off than it was four years ago. How has the North Bay fared?
One measure is the number of jobs. The number of North Bay jobs in all industries from July 2008 through July of this year decreased 4.5 percent, or by nearly 19,500, according to Business Journal analysis of state figures for all but Marin County, for which 2012 figures aren't yet available. From July 2008 through the end of last year, Marin lost 6,300 jobs, a decline of 5.7 percent.
Yet, since the low point for North Bay jobs outside Marin in February and March 2010, 21,550 were added back, a gain of 5.5 percent. The recovery in Marin since its low also at that time was on an identical pace and brought back 5,400 jobs.
Particularly strong job growth has come from North Bay manufacturing.
The Sonoma County Economic Development Board's summer business-confidence survey, released in August, found:Business confidence in the county reached a five-year high of 5.9 to 6.1 out of 10.The board's Purchasing Trends Index increased 18 percent in the summer survey to 71, after robust reports of new customer orders. A score above 50 indicates economic expansion.Yet, local executives think full recovery is one to four years away.
Still, state figures show the North Bay is back to about the same number of jobs as a dozen years ago.