Economics and Employment

Projections from the State of California’s Employment Development Department show that the Professional and Business Services industries will grow more than any other industries in the county between 2008 and 2018, with approximately 16,700 new jobs over ten years. This sector includes administrative and support services, management of companies and enterprises, and scientific/technical services. Total employment is expected to increase 9.0 percent during this time. (Source: CA Employment Development Department) In addition, the county remains an attractive option for small and medium sized businesses and corporations looking for new or expansion sites.

The Trade, Transportation, and Utilities sector currently the largest employing sector in the county, followed by Government and Education & Health Services. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities industries include wholesale trade, grocery stores, and more. This industry will continue to increase total employment through 2018, along with all other major industries in Sonoma County.

Percent of Employment by Industry 2008

Blue Dot Trade, Transportation, and Utilities, 18.0%;
Red Dot Government, 16.9%;
Green Dot Education & Health Services, 13.5%;
Purple Dot Manufacturing, 11.3%;
Turquoise Dot Leisure & Hospitality, 11.2%;
Orange Dot Professional & Business Services, 11.0%.
Light Blue Dot  Construction, 5.5%;
Light Red Dot  Financial Activities, 4.3%;
Light Green Dot  Other Services, 3.4%;
Light Purple Dot  Farm, 3.3%
Light Turquoise Dot  Information Services, 1.5%

Median Household Income

1979 (from 1980 Census) – $20,607

1989 (from 1990 Census) – $36,299

1999 (from 2000 Census) – $53,076

2009 (from 2010 Census) – $63,274

Source: US Census, American Community Survey 2009

The median household income for Sonoma County residents has consistently been higher than the averages for California or the United States over the past 10 years. (Source: US Census, American Community Survey 2009)

The number of Sonoma County residents living below the poverty line was lower than both state and national averages. The U.S. Census reports that 10.3 percent of all families in Sonoma County lived below poverty line in 2010.

Percent Below Poverty Line

2004 8.1% 13.3%
2005 9.1% 13.3%
2006 9.9% 13.1%
2007 8.9% 12.4%
2008 10.9% 13.3%
2009 9.3% 14.2%
2010 10.3% 15.8%

 Source: US Census, American Community Survey 2010

Recent data provided by the US Census reveals that the percent of Sonoma County residents who live below the poverty line increased in 2010, following the general statewide trend, but fell 1.6 percent in 2009. Official poverty calculations assume that a family earning a given income is equally well-off anywhere in the country; however, due to the above-average costs of living in Sonoma County, the Public Policy Institute of California estimates the adjusted poverty rate for Sonoma County is significantly higher.

Per Capita Personal Income


 Source: US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis

The per capita income in Sonoma County was $45,020 in 2010.This was 3 percent higher than the California average of $43,647, and 19 percent higher than the national per capita income of $40,166. Sonoma County’s per capita income is the 12th highest of California’s 58 counties.
(Source: U.S. Department of Commerce)

Unemployment Rates


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

While unemployment rates for Sonoma County have increased over the past few years, County unemployment rates have stayed below average unemployment rates for the state. Since 2010, unemployment levels have decreased, and the county has recovered over 17,000 of the 25,000 jobs lost since 2008. Statewide unemployment increased 4.6 percent, representing a total of 774,000 jobs. Despite job losses, Sonoma County boosted its total number of firms by 4.6 percent in 2008.

Money in hand

Other Resources

Citizens Report

Fiscal Year Finances

Thumbnail Citizen Report 2011 - 2012

Auditor-Controller/ Treasurer-Tax Collector (707) 565-2631