California Employment Report

Posted by Bruce W. Woolpert on Mar 18, 2015


Through October, the unemployment rate has declined over the year in 53 California counties. The largest rate decrease was in San Benito County (down 2.7 percentage points to 11.6%). Modoc County was the only county to experience an increase in unemployment. Counties with the lowest unemployment rates (those below 10%) continue to include: Marin (7.4%), San Mateo (8.0%), San Francisco (8.3%), Napa (8.5%), Orange (8.6%), Santa Barbara (8.6%), Inyo (9.2%), San Luis Obispo (9.3%), Sonoma (9.4%), Santa Clara (9.6%), San Diego (9.7%), and Mariposa (9.8%). The highest unemployment rate for any county was 29.6% in Imperial County.

Construction payrolls increased 6,900 jobs in September following a 100 job increase in August. Over the year, construction has added 23,000 jobs. At the end of September, California’s working age population was 28,670,000 people of which 18,166,000 are in the work force, and 16,097,000 of those in the work force are currently employed, resulting in an unemployment rate of 11.4% or 2,152,000 people. Sixty-three percent of California working age adults are in the workforce compared with 64.2% nationally. The nation’s unemployment rate is 9.1%. Among California’s unemployed, 62.6% are people who lost their jobs and new labor force entrants (such as recent school graduates) make up the rest.

The non-farm industries that saw employment increases in September were: professional and business services (13,300); construction (6,900); leisure and hospitality (4,700); trade, transportation and utilities (4,600); and other services (600). Sectors who lost jobs in September were government (7,000); manufacturing (4,700); education and health services (3,500); information (2,200); financial activities (800); and mining and logging (100). California needs to turn around its “anti-business” reputation. A recent study found that employers are leaving California, most deciding to go to Texas, and that employment growth is coming from employers who say that they can’t easily relocate their business assets.


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