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Career & Workplace

California Job Growth Continues… at Modest Pace

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CALIFORNIA JOB GROWTH CONTINUES… AT MODEST PACE 

Unemployment Rate Falls To New Historic Low

 

October 19, 2018—LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA—Nonfarm job growth in California was modest in September, with the state adding 13,200 positions in the latest numbers from the Economic Development Department (EDD), according to an analysis released jointly by Beacon Economics and the UC Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. From September 2017 to September 2018, California’s job growth rate (2.0%) outshined the nation’s (1.7%), while its yearly increase of 339,600 jobs was third largest among the 50 states.

California’s unemployment rate declined to 4.1% in the latest numbers, a new historic low, despite a 34,300 increase in the state’s labor force over the month. However, labor force growth remains modest from a year-over-year perspective, growing by just 4,900 from September 2017 to September 2018.

“September’s monthly gain was below this year’s average of 22,000, but monthly employment changes are quite volatile,” said  Robert Kleinhenz  Executive Director of Research at Beacon Economics and the UCR Center for Forecasting. “More significantly, the state has maintained a yearly job growth rate of about 2% for several months running, despite a record low unemployment rate that edged down further this month and a labor force that is barely growing.” Kleinhenz noted, However, that labor force constraints will begin to slow job growth across California in 2019.

Key Findings:

  • At the industry level, growth was somewhat mixed in September. While the majority of sectors saw continued increases in payrolls, a handful shed positions. The Administrative Support sector was responsible for the most jobs added during the month (+8,800), with year-over-year growth coming in at 3.1%. The Leisure and Hospitality sector also had a strong month, adding 8,500 positions. Other sectors that grew during the month include Government (+5,100 positions), Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (+3,800 positions), and Real Estate (+1,500 positions).
  • The Leisure and Hospitality sector led the way in terms of year-over-year gains with 68,600 jobs added, increasing payrolls by 3.5% from September 2017 to September 2018. Health Care continued its solid performance, adding 64,500 jobs, followed by Government at 42,800 jobs, and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services with 40,300 positions added.
  • The sector posting the largest decline this month was Information, which shed 3,000 positions. However, payrolls in this industry have grown by 1.1% from a year-over-year perspective. Other sectors posting sizeable declines in September were Educational Services (-2,400 positions), Construction (-2,000 positions), and Other Services (-1,800 positions).
  • Regionally, growth was mixed. In Southern California, payrolls expanded in San Diego (+3,100) and the Inland Empire (+1,900), while payrolls declined in Orange County (-2,600) and Los Angeles (MD) (-400). From a year-over-year perspective, the Inland Empire grew the most (3.3%), followed by San Diego County (2.0%), Los Angeles (MD) (1.2%), Ventura County (+0.9%), and Orange County (0.5%).
  • In the San Francisco Bay Area, the East Bay (+2,400) and San Francisco (MD) (+1,000) added the largest number of jobs in September. From a year-over-year perspective, San Jose (+3.7%) grew the most, followed by San Rafael (+3.6%), Santa Rosa (+2.7%), San Francisco (MD) (+1.9%), and the East Bay (+1.9%).
  • In the Central Valley, growth was led by Stockton (+1,100), Fresno (+600) and Chico (+500) and declines were led by Sacramento (-4,100) and Bakersfield (-1,700). From a year-over-year perspective, Merced (+4.2%) grew the most, followed by Chico (+3.5%), Stockton (+3.3%), and Fresno (+3.2%).
  • On the Central Coast, job growth was led by Santa Barbara and Salinas, which each added 700 jobs, with Santa Cruz (+300) and San Luis Obispo (+200) also adding positions in September. From a year-over-year perspective, Salinas (+3.7%) grew the most, followed by Santa Cruz (+2.8%), San Luis Obispo (+1.3%), and Santa Barbara (+0.8%).

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Beacon Economics is an independent economic research and consulting firm based in Los Angeles. The UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development is the first world class university forecasting center in the Inland Empire. This analysis was authored by Christopher ThornbergRobert Kleinhenz, and Brian Vanderplas. Learn more at www.beaconecon.com and www.ucreconomicforecast.org.