CBPR conducts custom studies for public, private, and non-profit clients, including economic impact reports, cluster studies, market research, program evaluations, and other economic and policy analysis, to meet clients' needs. Some of these reports can be found on the client organization's webpages or published in other locations. Contact the Center's Director or Associate Director to discuss contract opportunities.

Past CBPR clients for contract research reports include the California Department of Transportation, California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS), the Port of Stockton, Union Pacific Railroad, the Great Valley Center, and the University of the Pacific.


Recent Custom Studies

The COVID-19 pandemic has had very different impacts on employment across the sub-regions of the Northern California Megaregion (NCMR). This report analyzes those differences through the first six months of the pandemic using a high-quality dataset based on employer tax filings and provides a more accurate picture than early estimates based on surveys and unemployment insurance claims.  The data shows the North San Joaquin Valley (NSJV) has been the most resistant to job loss in the first six months of the pandemic, while the North Bay area and San Francisco have experienced the highest level of job loss.

We find that the hardest-hit workers in Northern California occupy low-wage service jobs based in tourism-dependent locations and high-income communities with many remote workers. The report also shows average wages have increased sharply over the past year, in large part because so many low-paying jobs have been lost. Following a summary overview, the report discusses the situation in each sub-region of the NCMR with county-specific employment trends and industry-level details of regional change in employment and wages.

COVID-19 will lead to record high unemployment rates across Northern California by May, according to the Center for Business and Policy Research at the University of the Pacific.  The Center estimates the loss of 1.25 million jobs and a peak unemployment rate of 17.7% in Northern California and a statewide loss of over 3.8 million jobs with an unemployment rate of 18.8%. 

Impacts will vary across Northern California Metro Areas, although all areas will set new records for unemployment and job loss.  Due to its heavy reliance on travel and tourism, the Napa economy is the hardest hit with a projected 29% loss in jobs and a peak unemployment rate of 22%.  The tech-oriented San Jose economy will see the smallest economic losses with a projected 18% decline in jobs and a 15% unemployment rate.  The North San Joaquin Valley and Sacramento areas will see impacts close to the statewide average with unemployment rates of 19-20%, and about a 22% loss in jobs across these inland regions.

The report also finds that the benefits of stay-at-home and social distancing policies are worth these significant economic costs, and cautions against using these projections to argue for ending these necessary public health regulations.  The report does not forecast the path for economic recovery.  To estimate the impacts, the Center used a bottom-up approach based on occupational risks and the distribution of occupations across local economies with adjustments for self-employment and regional commuting patterns.


In 2015, California's legislature passed a series of bills entitled the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) which established the first statewide regulatory system for medical cannabis businesses. This was followed by the passage of Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), in November 2016 which legalized recreational use of cannabis at the state-level for persons aged 21 years and older. With the passage of these laws, local governments across the state are developing local regulations for this emerging industry.

The Center for Business and Policy Research (CBPR) has been analyzing the economics of the cannabis sector in California. Through research on industry data from early legalization states and detailed interviews with cannabis industry farmers, investors, and accountants in Northern California, we have developed an economic model of ten industry sectors and incorporated these custom sectors into IMPLAN, the most widely used economic impact model. We are also developing fiscal impact assessments to examine the impacts of tax and regulatory scenarios on local governments. To date, CBPR has released two reports on the cannabis economy. These economic studies are helpful to communities trying to understand the scale and economic potential of the cannabis sector.  However, they do not examine possible social impacts of cannabis, including possible effects on health care, mental health, and crime. 

This Research Brief presents data and discusses commuting patterns in the North San Joaquin Valley (NSJV) prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the pandemic has disrupted these patterns, we believe that this information provides useful context as we look towards future development of the NSJV region.