The upbeat nationwide jobs report released Friday, which showed a gain of 114,000 jobs for September, revealed several encouraging trends for the Bay Area job market -- but also raised some yellow flags for the nine-county region's economy.

"We saw solid gains in professional and business services, the finance sector and health care, and those are all sectors that are important to the Bay Area and California overall," said Scott Anderson, chief economist with San Francisco-based Bank of the West.

The gains in professional and business services could be especially helpful for the Bay Area, with its numerous technology jobs. State government officials are scheduled to release employment reports for the Bay Area and California in two weeks.

"There are promising signs for the Bay Area in this report," said Jon Haveman, chief economist for the Bay Area Council's Economic Institute.

Professional and business services, computer systems design, health care, finance and insurance, construction, and restaurants and drinking establishments, all key sectors in the Bay Area economy, gained jobs during September, according to the monthly report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

However, computer and electronic products manufacturing, information services and hotels and motels slumped during September.


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The biggest gains came in health care, which added 43,500 jobs. Big gains also came in professional and business services, up 13,000; restaurants and drinking establishments, up 15,700; construction, up 5,000; finance and insurance, up 5,000; and computer systems design, up 2,900. But computer and electronics products manufacturing lost 5,500 jobs, while the information industry lost 6,000.

"That is a large negative in computer and electronics manufacturing, and that is clearly an important sector for the Bay Area," said Jeffrey Michael, director of the Stockton-based Business Forecasting Center at University of the Pacific.

The economists also said the big improvement in the national jobless rate, which dropped to 7.8 percent, could also point to an upswing of employment in the Bay Area.

Some of the improvement in the jobless rate resulted from more small businesses hiring or being formed.

"Startups and new companies are very important for the Bay Area," Anderson said.

One thing is clear from the report: The Bay Area still outpaces the nation in job growth. Over the 12 months that ended in August, total payroll jobs in the Bay Area increased by 3 percent. During 12 months that ended in September, payroll jobs in the U.S. grew 1.4 percent, less than half the rate of the Bay Area expansion.

"The Bay Area will continue to be a leader compared with the national trends," Haveman said.

Contact George Avalos at 925-977-8477. Follow him at Twitter.com/george_avalos.