News & Press Releases

Yuba City Sees Retail Jobs Growth in Slow Economy
Chris Clark  |  14-Feb-2011
News File

Despite the current national economic climate, the Yuba-Sutter region experienced job growth last year in one of its most important retail industries, general merchandise stores.  Stores of this type are locations we citizens see on an everyday basis including department stores like JC-Penney and Target, as well as discount and warehouse locations like Big Lots and Sam’s Club.  As of December 2010, the Yuba-Sutter area’s general merchandise workforce has grown by 5.6% compared to December 2009 figures.  

This is especially impressive when compared to the general merchandise job figures for much larger cities in the region.  For example, the cities of Sacramento and Roseville posted a collective half-percent loss in general merchandise jobs during the same period.  Even the metropolis and economic hub-city, San Francisco isn’t experiencing general merchandise job growth of the same percentage.  In fact, San Francisco’s general merchandise job growth, in terms of percentage was nearly half that of the Yuba-Sutter area.  With the prospect of new businesses like the New Earth Market grocery market as well as the proposed development of a retail center with electronics giant Best Buy as its anchor, the area is likely to continue to see even more job creation in the general merchandise market. 

One possible explanation for why the Yuba-Sutter economy is seeing growth where other, larger cities are not is the fact that operating costs in our area are much lower than other large metropolitan areas. Retail and industrial property lease rates are significantly lower in the Yuba-Sutter area than in larger communities.  This fact makes the Yuba-Sutter area an especially attractive environment for prospective businesses in general merchandise and retail sectors.  From small businesses to large corporate operations, lower overall operating costs mean increased profit potential.

Another reason for excitement is that this job growth came to an area where its economy has been hardest hit by local consumers going out of the area to purchase products.  According to the Yuba City Retail Market Analysis for 2010 the area loses over thirty-two million dollars annually to shoppers looking to other communities or the internet for general merchandise products.  The news that jobs in this sector are up, may mean the city is moving towards capping a significant hole in the area’s economy.


United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Career Guide to Industries 2010-11 (clothing, accessory, and general merchandise stores) updated 12-17-2009, Accessed 2-09-2011.

California Employment Development: Labor Market information Division, Yuba City MSA, Industry Employment & Labor Force.  Updated 1-21-2011. Accessed 2-09-2011.$pds.pdf

California Employment Development: Labor Market information Division, Sacramento Arden Arcade Roseville MSA, Industry Employment & Labor Force. Updated 1-21-2011. Accessed 2-09-2011.$pds.pdf