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CALIFORNIA EMPLOYMENT SEES WEAKER GAINS IN FIRST MONTH OF 2019; ANNUAL REVISION SHOW MOST STATE INDUSTRIES REMAIN ON TRACK Unemployment Inches Up As Labor Force Continues Growth

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March 11, 2019—LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA—Today’s release from Beacon Economics and the UC Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development includes analysis and commentary on both the January employment numbers and the annual benchmark revision from the California Employment Development Department (EDD).

 

January Numbers
California began 2019 with a weaker than normal monthly gain in January, increasing payrolls by 3,000 in the latest numbers from the California EDD. The yearly pace of growth slowed as well, with the state adding 246,400 jobs from January 2018 to January 2019, an increase of 1.4%. This represents a slightly slower rate of growth than in December 2018 when jobs increased by a revised 1.6% year-over-year, and is behind the national growth rate of 1.9% year-over-year as of January.
California’s unemployment rate inched up to 4.2% in January, a 0.1 percentage point increase from December. However, the driving force behind this increase was an uptick in the state’s labor force, which grew by 50,200 during the month. In yearly terms, the labor force grew by 1.5%, continuing an accelerating trend that began in mid-2018.
”California began 2019 much as it ended 2018, with the unemployment rate in record low territory and industry job gains that have been led by health care, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality,” said  Robert Kleinhenz  Executive Director of Research at Beacon Economics and the UCR Center for Forecasting. “Looking through the rest of the year, signs point toward continued growth at the state level, with most of California’s regions remaining on track as compared to last year.”

 

Key Findings:
  • Health Care was responsible for the most job gains this month, adding 5,600 positions during  January. This sector has exhibited steady gains for some time, with a year-over-year increase of 2.4% or 56,000 positions.
  • Administrative Services followed Health Care with an increase of 2,800 jobs in January. With these gains, year-over-year growth for the sector reached 2.7%, well above the statewide average of 1.4%. Other sectors having a strong month were, Government (+2,400 positions), Professional, Scientific & Technical Services (+1,700 positions), and Information (+1,400 positions).
  • Despite steady gains for the state overall, a number of sectors shed positions in December. Declines were strongest in Retail Trade, which shed 5,500 positions. Other sectors that lost positions during the month were Education (-3,000 positions), Finance and Insurance (-1,600 positions), Wholesale Trade (-1,400 positions), along with Other Services, Construction, Logistics, and Management of Enterprises.
  • While growth was spread across the state in January, it was strongest in the San Francisco Bay Area. San Jose added the most positions both statewide and in the Bay Area in the latest numbers, increasing payrolls by 5,100. This was followed by San Francisco (MD) (+3,900), the East Bay (+1,200), Santa Rosa (+400), and Vallejo (+200). From a year-over-year perspective, growth has been the fastest in San Francisco (MD) (3.8%), followed by San Jose (2.4%), Napa (1.5%), the East Bay (1.3%), Santa Rosa (1.1%), and Vallejo (0.5%).
  • In Southern California, Orange County added the most positions in January with a gain of 4,200 jobs. San Diego followed with an increase of 100 jobs. The remaining metro areas lost jobs, with Los Angeles shedding 2,600 positions, Riverside down by 2,100 jobs, and Oxnard losing 400 positions. From a year-over-year perspective, growth was fastest in the Inland Empire (1.7%), followed by San Diego (1.5%), El Centro (1.2%), Orange County (1.0%), Ventura County (0.8%), and Los Angeles (0.7%).
  • In the Central Valley, Sacramento added the most positions in January, increasing payrolls by 900 jobs. Growth in Sacramento was followed by Merced (+700), Fresno (+600), and Bakersfield (+400). From a year-over-year perspective, growth has been the fastest in Fresno (3.2%), Sacramento (2.7%), Bakersfield (2.3%), and Madera (2.1%).
  • Along the Central Coast, Santa Barbara added the most positions in January, increasing payrolls by 800 jobs. This was followed by Santa Cruz where payrolls increased by 700 positions during the month, and Salinas (+500). From a year-over-year perspective, growth has been strongest in Salinas (2.8%) and Santa Barbara (2.8%), followed by Santa Cruz (1.1%), and San Luis Obispo (0.8%).
Annual Benchmark Revision
The annual benchmark revision from the California EDD did not change top-level growth. From 2017 to 2018, year-over-year growth averaged 2.0% before and after the revisions. However, there were more payroll positions in 2017 and 2018 than previously estimated, with average monthly employment levels 53,600 higher in the revised figures.

At the industry level, the benchmark revision was mixed, with some sectors seeing growth rates rise and others seeing their growth rates revised downward. The largest increases in year-over-year growth rates from 2017 to 2018 occurred in Mining and Logging (0.3% original to 3.9% revised), Management (0.6% original to 3.2% revised), Other Services (-0.2% original to 1.3% revised), Logistics (3.7% original to 4.9% revised), Real Estate (1.5% original to 2.4% revised), and Manufacturing (0.5% original to 1.2% revised).

The largest declines in year-over-year growth rates from 2017 to 2018 were in Leisure and Hospitality (2.7% original to 1.7% revised), Retail Trade (0.5% original to -0.1% revised), Finance and Insurance (0.1% original to -0.4% revised), Government (1.2% original to 0.9% revised), and Educational Services (3.5% original to 3.1% revised).

The EDD’s annual benchmark revision was also mixed at the metro level, with some areas seeing significant gains in their growth rates and others experiencing declines compared to earlier estimates. The largest increases in year-over-year growth rates from 2017 to 2018 were in Hanford (0.8% original to 3.0% revised), Napa (0.3% original to 2.3% revised), Sacramento (1.8% original to 3.1% revised), San Francisco (MD) (1.9% original to 3.1% revised), and Orange County (1.0% original to 1.9% revised).

The largest declines in year-over-year growth rates from 2017 to 2018 were in Merced (3.9% original to 1.4% revised), Santa Cruz (2.5% original to 0.6% revised), Visalia (2.4% original to 0.9% revised), San Jose (3.3% original to 1.9% revised), and San Rafael (MD) (1.9% original to 0.8% revised).

The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.

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Career & Workplace

California Continues to Struggle with Labor Supply as Employment Expands Modestly

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State’s Unemployment Rate Remains Highest In Nation

California’s labor market expanded modestly in April, with total nonfarm employment in the state growing by 5,200 positions over the month, according to an analysis released today by Beacon Economics. March’s gains were revised down to 18,200 in the latest numbers, a 10,100 decline from the preliminary estimate of 28,300.

As of April 2024, California has recovered all of the jobs that were lost in March and April 2020, and there are now 314,300 more people employed in the state compared to February 2020. Total nonfarm employment has grown 1.8% over this time compared to a 3.9% increase in the United States overall. California increased payrolls by 1.2% from April 2023 to April 2024, trailing the 1.8% increase nationally over the same period.

The state’s unemployment rate held steady at 5.3% in April 2024, unchanged from the previous month. California’s unemployment rate is the highest in the nation and remains elevated relative to the 3.9% rate in the United States as a whole. The state continues to struggle with its labor supply, which remained essentially unchanged in April (declining by a negligible 100). Since February 2020, California’s labor force has fallen by -246,200 workers, a -1.3% decline. In comparison, over the past twelve months the nation’s labor force has increased by 0.8%. 

Industry Profile  

  • At the industry level, job gains were mixed in April. Health Care led the way with payrolls expanding by 10,100, an increase of 0.4% on a month-over-month basis. With these gains Health Care payrolls are now 13.6% above their pre-pandemic peak.
  • Other sectors posting strong gains during the month were Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities (3,700 or 0.4%), Leisure and Hospitality (3,100 or 0.2%), Government (2,600 or 0.1%), Education (1,800 or 0.4%), Retail Trade (1,000 or 0.1%), and Wholesale Trade (400 or 0.1%).
  • Payrolls decreased a handful of sectors in April. Construction experienced the largest declines, with payrolls falling by -6,000, a contraction of -0.6% on a month-over-month basis. Note that this decline was largely due to late season storms affecting construction projects across the state.
  • Other sectors posting significant declines during the month were Manufacturing (-5,300 or -0.4%), Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (-3,600 or -0.3%), Real Estate (-700 or -0.2%), Finance and Insurance (-700 or -0.1%), Administrative Support (-600 or -0.1%), and Information (-600 or -0.1%).

Regional Profile

  • Regionally, job gains were led by Southern California. Los Angeles (MD) saw the largest increase, where payrolls grew by 5,700 (0.2%) during the month. The Inland Empire (2,600 or 0.2%) and San Diego (1,200 or 0.1%) also saw their payrolls jump during the month. However, payrolls fell in Orange County (-2,700 or -0.2%), Ventura (-500 or -0.2%), and El Centro (-2,200 or -0.3%). Over the past year, El Centro (1.9%) has had the fastest job growth in the region, followed by the Inland Empire (1.5%), Ventura (1.4%), Orange County (1.1%), San Diego (0.8%), and Los Angeles (MD) (0.6%).
  • In the Bay Area, the East Bay experienced the largest increase, with payrolls expanding by 2,600 (0.2%) positions in April. San Rafael (MD) (200 or 0.2%) and Napa (100 or 0.1%) also saw payrolls increase during the month. However, San Francisco (MD) (-1,700 or -0.1%), Santa Rosa (-600 or -0.3%), and Vallejo (-600 or -0.2%) experienced payroll declines during the month. Over the past 12 months, Vallejo (3.0%) enjoyed the fastest job growth in the region, followed by Santa Rosa (2.3%), Napa (2.2%), San Rafael (MD) (1.6%), the East Bay (0.9%), San Jose (0.2%), and San Francisco (MD) (-0.8%).
  • In the Central Valley, Sacramento experienced the largest monthly increase as payrolls expanded by 900 (0.1%) positions in April. Payrolls in Yuba (400 or 0.8%), Bakersfield (300 or 0.1%), Fresno (300 or 0.1%), and Visalia (100 or 0.1%) increased as well. However, payrolls fell in Stockton (-500 or -0.2%), Modesto (-200 or -0.1%), Merced (-200 or -0.3%), Redding (-100 or -0.1%), and Hanford (-100 or -0.2%). Over the past year, Madera (5.7%) had the fastest growth, followed by Yuba (4.2%), Merced (3.7%), Modesto (3.6%), Sacramento (2.5%), Hanford (2.4%), Redding (2.3%), Fresno (2.2%), Visalia (2.1%), Stockton (2.0%), Chico (1.5%), and Bakersfield (1.1%).
  • On California’s Central Coast, Salinas (200 or 0.1%) and Santa Cruz (200 or 0.2%) added the largest number of jobs during the month. Santa Barbara (-100 or -0.1%) saw payrolls decline. From April 2023 to April 2024, Salinas (1.9%) has added jobs at the fastest rate, followed by Santa Cruz (1.6%), Santa Barbara (0.8%), and San Luis Obispo (0.5%).
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Career & Workplace

Inland Economic Growth & Opportunity (IEGO) Announces 2024 Priorities

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Strategic Vision: Prioritizing Sustainable Growth and Enhanced Opportunities in the Inland Region

The Inland Economic Growth & Opportunity (IEGO), a collaborative organization dedicated to fostering economic growth, has announced its 2024 strategic priorities designed to create a vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable economy for Southern California’s Inland Empire. Among its immediate priorities include its role in Governor Newsom’s California Jobs First regional jobs strategy.

“As one of the California Jobs First statewide collaboratives, IEGO is committed to engaging a wide ranging and diverse group of stakeholders in our economic development focus so that we can improve the quality of life for all residents across the region,” said IEGO Executive Director Matthew Mena.

IEGO’s strategy is critical. While Inland Southern California remains one of California’s top job growth markets, it also ranks as having the lowest average weekly wages according to employment data for the nation’s 50 largest county job markets as reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The IEGO 2024 priorities are designed to counter that trend and encourage greater business investment, including:

California Jobs First: IEGO will develop Inland Southern California’s regional jobs strategy to create quality jobs and a more accessible economy as part of Governor Newsom’s very intentional, inclusive approach to economic and workforce development to maximize state resources and investments by empowering communities to chart their own futures. Much of the funding will support career development projects from capacity building to industry-specific programs, and new job training.

Center of Excellence: As one of the state’s designated Center of Excellence, IEGO will support the region’s community colleges and their partners by providing research on the local labor market, including information on job growth, wages, demographics, top employers, education, and skill requirements, as well as education outcomes for industries and occupations critical to the Inland Empire’s economy. This data will help inform the development of new community college programs, curriculum, and partnerships that the colleges pursue in their efforts to prepare residents for high-paying, fast-growing jobs that Inland Empire businesses need today and in the future. 

Regional Marketing: IEGO will work to ensure that the region is well positioned to benefit from public and private investment and is fully recognized for its economic strength and opportunity. In this way, IEGO can enhance the delivery of public and private resources to the two-county region.

“There’s real opportunity for the IEGO Center of Excellence to lead deeper economic and workforce research. One of the immediate areas is our Top 50 Jobs report. We want to better identify the best job opportunities and pathways for workers in struggling families to make ends meet and build wealth,” said Andy Hall, who is leading report development for the Center of Excellence.

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The City of Rancho Cucamonga Recognized as U.S. Best-in-Class Employer by Gallagher 

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Gallagher’s Best-in-Class Benchmarking Analysis Identifies U.S. Organizations That Excel in Optimizing Employee and Organizational Wellbeing 

The City of Rancho Cucamonga participated in Gallagher’s 2023 U.S. Benefits Strategy & Benchmarking Survey and was identified as an organization that excelled in implementing successful strategies for managing people and programs. The City of Rancho Cucamonga was recognized for its comprehensive framework for strategically investing in benefits, compensation and employee communication to support the health, financial security and career growth of its employees at a sustainable cost structure. 

Designations like Gallagher’s Best-in-Class Employer help current and potential employees understand and appreciate an organization’s workplace culture and people strategy; important differentiators as employers compete for talent in today’s labor market. 

“This award is a testament to the collective dedication and unwavering commitment of our team, reflecting the high standards we uphold in fostering a workplace that thrives on innovation, belonging, and employee well-being.” Robert Neiuber, Senior Human Resources Director, City of Rancho Cucamonga. 

A U.S. Best-in-Class Employer, the City of Rancho Cucamonga was assigned points based on its relative performance in: 

  • Plan horizons for benefits and compensation strategies 
  • Extent of the wellbeing strategy 
  • Turnover rate for full-time equivalents (FTEs) 
  • Completion of a workforce engagement survey 
  • Use of an HR technology strategy and its level of sophistication 
  • Difference in healthcare costs over the prior year 
  • Use of a communication strategy 

The City of Rancho Cucamonga understands that high employee expectations haven’t budged in the changing labor market and have regularly examined their formula to attract and retain talent,” said William F. Ziebell, CEO of Gallagher’s Benefits & HR Consulting Division. “In doing so, the City of Rancho Cucamonga utilizes data, workforce feedback tools and clearly defined policies to provide competitive benefits and experiences that their employees value.” 

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