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California Job Recovery Halts For First Time In Eight Months; Covid Resurgence Does Not Bode Well For Near Term Future



State Unemployment Rate Grows But Workforce Also Expands

California’s labor market saw its first loss of jobs since April, according to an analysis released jointly by Beacon Economics and the UC Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. Total nonfarm employment in the state declined by 52,200 positions over the month.

Over the course of 2020, California’s economy shed 1.4 million jobs, the first time the state has recorded an annual loss of jobs since 2009. It is important to note that annual figures will be revised and finalized by the California Employment Development Department in March and are subject to change. 

Since the depths of the labor market downturn in April, only 44% of the jobs lost in California have been recovered. In December, there were 1.5 million fewer people employed in the state than in February 2020. Total nonfarm employment has contracted by 8.3% since February. This pace of growth trails the nation overall, where the number of jobs has shrunk by 6.5% over the same period.

“Unfortunately, California’s job losses in December were not unexpected,” said Taner Osman, Research Manager at Beacon Economics and the UCR Center for Forecasting. “As the spread of Covid-19 was rampant in the state’s major population centers, business closures to contain the spread of the virus also came at the cost of jobs. The situation is unlikely to improve much in January, although, for the first time, there is some real hope, with the roll out of vaccines, that the labor market can pick up real momentum in the spring.”

California’s unemployment rate grew to 9.0% in December, up from 8.1% in the previous month, and the number of workers on the state’s unemployment rolls expanded by 163,700. California’s unemployment rate remains elevated relative to the 6.7% rate in the United States overall. At the beginning of 2020, the state’s unemployment rate stood at 3.9%, meaning it has more than doubled over the course of the year.  In a positive sign, California’s labor force continued to expand in December, growing by 72,200, as workers felt encouraged and returned to the labor market. Over the course of 2020, the state’s labor force – a measure of both those working and those who are looking for work – declined by just over half a million workers.

Industry Profile

  • December’s job losses were concentrated in a just handful of sectors.
  • Leisure & Hospitality led payroll declines in December, where the number of jobs contracted by 117,000. This ended the slow recovery that was underway in the sector. During 2020, 610,900 jobs have been lost in the sector, a decline of 30%, for the year.
  • Other sectors posting significant declines during the month were Other Services (-11,000), a sector which includes hairdressers and nail salons, Manufacturing (-3,600), Education (-2,400), Real Estate (-2,000), and Management (-1,600).
  • The Construction sector led payroll gains in December, increasing by 31,600 during the month. With this showing, Construction sector payrolls are up 0.3% over the last year.
  • Other sectors posting significant gains during the month were Professional, Scientific & Technical Services (20,300), Administrative Support (10,900), Health Care (8,500), Transportation, Warehousing & Utilities (6,000), and Information (5,200).
  • During 2020, only three sectors experienced job gains in the state: Construction (+2,900), Finance and Insurance (+11,100), and Professional Scientific & Technical Services (+2,400). The biggest job losses occurred in Leisure & Hospitality (-610,900), Educational & Health Services (-135,200) and Retail Trade (-105,000).

Regional Profile

  • Regionally job declines were led by Southern California. Los Angeles (MD) saw the largest decrease, where payrolls fell by 33,400 positions during the month. Orange County (-7,800), San Diego (-3,500), Ventura (-2,700), and the Inland Empire (-2,200) also saw payrolls drop during the month. Over the past year, El Centro (-9.4%) has experienced the steepest job losses in the region, measured by percentage decrease, followed by Los Angeles (MD) (-9.1%), Orange County (-8.5%), Ventura (-8.2%), the Inland Empire (-7.2%), and San Diego (-6.9%).
  • In the San Francisco Bay Area, San Jose experienced the largest decrease, with payrolls falling by 7,800 positions in December. San Francisco (MD) (-6,700), San Rafael (MD) (-1,400), and Santa Rosa (-1,100) also saw payrolls decline during the month. From a year-over-year perspective, the San Francisco (MD) (-9.9%) has had the steepest declines in the Bay Area, followed by the East Bay (-9.6%), San Rafael (MD) (-9.5%), Santa Rosa (-9.2%), Vallejo (-8.8%), Napa (-8.0%), and San Jose (-6.9%).
  • In the Central Valley, Fresno and Visalia experienced the largest monthly decline in payrolls, with payrolls declining by 1,800 positions in each metro in December. Payrolls in Stockton (-700) and Modesto (-700) declined as well. Over the last year, Yuba (-14.5%) had the steepest declines, followed by Chico (-10.5%), Modesto (-8.7%), Bakersfield (-8.1%), Hanford (-7.2%), Merced (-7.0%), and Stockton (-6.9%).
  • On California’s Central Coast, San Luis Obispo added the largest number of jobs, with payrolls increasing by 2,200 during the month. In contrast, payrolls in Santa Barbara (-300), Santa Cruz (-200), and Salinas (-200) declined during the month. From a year-over-year perspective, Santa Cruz (-13.0%) shed positions at the fastest rate, followed by San Luis Obispo (-11.6%), Salinas (-10.3%), and Santa Barbara (-7.5%).


Saybridge Technologies’ Board of Directors Announces Byron J. Paul as CEO



The SyBridge Technologies’ Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Byron J. Paul has joined SyBridge Technologies (“SyBridge” or the “Company”) as Chief Executive Officer and will also serve as a member of the Board of Directors.  Mr. Paul will build upon the Company’s strategic vision of becoming a global technological leader in value-added design and manufacturing solutions ranging from design and prototyping to production-as-a-service and aftermarket services for customers.  Mr. Paul brings extensive experience in industrial technology and a 20+ year track record of driving profitable growth in complex, global enterprises.

Mr. Paul was most recently Group President at Signode Industrial Group where he led a global portfolio of businesses focused on end-of-line packaging technologies and warehouse automation solutions.  He previously served as President of Destaco, a leading designer and manufacturer of precision engineered components for industrial automation and robotics applications. Mr. Paul has also held senior leadership roles at John Crane, a leader in rotating equipment solutions, and at the Boston Consulting Group.  Mr. Paul holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He also attended the University of Western Australia where he earned a Bachelor of Commerce with first class honors in accounting and finance.

Mr. Paul stated, “I am thrilled to be joining a world-class team at SyBridge Technologies. They have done an outstanding job expanding SyBridge Technologies’ global reach, growing from three sites in 2019 to 16 locations today. I look forward to partnering with the Board and Crestview Partners as we embark on the next phase of growth to build an unrivaled leader in digital manufacturing.”

Jason Luo, Chairman of SyBridge Technologies and Crestview Operating Executive noted, “Byron is a committed leader with a proven track record of successfully growing businesses and we are excited to partner with him as we plan to execute on the Company’s next chapter of growth.”

Mr. Paul succeeds Tony Nardone who has departed the company to pursue other interests. “We appreciate the many contributions Tony has made to SyBridge and wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Mr. Luo.

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Career & Workplace

Despite Severe Labor Shortages, California Very Close to Recovering all Jobs Lost During Pandemic



Unemployment In State Falls To Lowest Level On Record

California’s labor market continued to expand in July, with total nonfarm employment in the state growing by 84,800 positions, according to an analysis released jointly by Beacon Economics and the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. June’s gains were revised up to 37,300 in the latest numbers, a 17,400 increase from the preliminary estimate of 19,900.

California has added jobs at a healthy pace in 2021 and 2022, but as of July 2022, there are still 2.7% fewer people employed in the state (representing 73,800 jobs) than there were prior to the pandemic. California’s recovery lags the national recovery due to labor shortages in the state.

Total nonfarm employment in California has contracted 0.4% since the start of the pandemic compared to a less than 0.1% increase nationally. With a larger portion of its workforce to be recovered, the state increased payrolls by 4.4% from July 2021 to July 2022, outpacing the 4.2% increase nationally over the same period.

“California is getting very close to fully recovering all the jobs it lost due to the pandemic,” said Taner Osman, Research Manager at Beacon Economics and the Center for Economic Forecasting. “In fact, if we repeat this month’s job gains next month, we will reach that milestone.”

California’s unemployment rate fell to 3.9% in July, a 0.3 percentage-point decline from the previous month. This is the lowest level on record, which dates back to 1976. Still, California’s unemployment rate remains elevated relative to the 3.5% rate in the United States overall. the state continues to struggle with very tight labor supply, which fell by 23,400 in July. Since February 2020, the state’s labor force has declined by 209,600 workers, a 1.1% decrease.

Industry Profile  

  • At the industry level, the largest jobs gains continue to occur in the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. While a handful of sectors in California are now exceeding their pre-pandemic peaks, employment levels in the hardest hit sectors remain below their pre-pandemic levels. However, those sectors should continue to steadily gain back jobs over the coming months.
  • The Health Care sector led gains in July, with payrolls expanding by 16,900 positions. Payrolls in Health Care now surpass pre-pandemic highs, with payrolls up 2.2% since February 2020.
  • Other sectors posting strong gains during the month were Leisure and Hospitality (14,900), Construction (11,400), Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (11,200), Administrative Support (9,300), Other Services (4,900), Government (4,500), and Information (4,400).
  • Job gains were broad based in July with Finance and Insurance (-1,800) and Other Services (-100) being the only sectors to post significant losses during the month.

Regional Profile

  • Regionally, job gains were led by Southern California. Orange County saw the largest increase, where payrolls grew by 22,300 (1.3%) during the month. Los Angeles (MD) (21,900 or 0.5%), the Inland Empire (9,100 or 0.5%), San Diego (4,400 or 0.3%), and Ventura (700 or 0.2%) also saw their payrolls jump during the month. The Inland Empire (132.1%) has experienced the strongest recovery in the region, measured by the percentage of jobs recovered from April 2020 to July 2022, relative to the jobs lost from February 2020 to April 2020. The IE is followed by El Centro (113.6%), San Diego (98.8%), Orange County (96.0%), Los Angeles (MD) (88%), and Ventura (83.2%).
  • In the San Francisco Bay Area, the San Jose (MD) experienced the largest increase, with payrolls expanding by 7,000 (0.6%) positions in July. San Francisco (MD) (6,700 or 0.6%), the East Bay (4,500 or 0.4%), Santa Rosa (1,100 or 0.5%), and Vallejo (500 or 0.4%) also saw payrolls expand during the month. Since April 2020, San Jose (97%) has experienced the strongest recovery in the region, followed by the East Bay (89.6%), San Francisco (MD) (85.8%), Santa Rosa (81.9%), Napa (76.1%), Vallejo (74.8%), and San Rafael (MD) (63.4%).
  • In the Central Valley, Sacramento experienced the largest monthly increase, as payrolls expanded by 4,900 (0.5%) positions in July. Payrolls in Merced (2,000 or 2.8%), Fresno (1,900 or 0.5%), Bakersfield (1,600 or 0.6%), Madera (700 or 1.7%), Visalia (500 or 0.4%), and Yuba (300 or 0.6%) increased steadily as well. Since April 2020, Merced (147.5%) has experienced the strongest recovery in the region, followed by Stockton (132.8%), Visalia (129.3%), Yuba (124%), Madera (120%), Sacramento (112.9%), Fresno (111.5%), Modesto (101.3%), and Redding (101.3%).
  • On California’s Central Coast, Santa Cruz added the largest number of jobs, with payrolls increasing by 1,500 (1.5%) during the month. San Luis Obispo (900 or 0.8%) also saw payrolls expand in July. Since April 2020, San Luis Obispo (98.7%) has experienced the strongest recovery in the region, followed by Santa Barbara (89.3%), Santa Cruz (86%), and Salinas (81.9%).
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Career & Workplace

California’s Inland Empire added 6,990 tech jobs between 2016 to 2021; Growth Rate of 39%—Highest Rate Among U.S. Markets



Greater Los Angeles/Orange County Ranked #12 in CBRE’s Annual ‘Scoring Tech Talent’ Report; Region Added More Than 7,000 Tech Workers in 2021, the Third-Largest Gain Among U.S. Markets, and Produced the Second-Highest Number of Tech Degree Graduates

The Greater Los Angeles/Orange County region ranks No. 12 overall in CBRE’s 2022 Scoring Tech Talent report as North American tech-talent employment bounced back from the pandemic to post job gains across most top markets in 2021, though the industry’s resilience will be tested again amid economic turmoil in 2022, according to a new report from CBRE.

California’s Inland Empire is also included in the report among small tech talent markets of less than 50,000 workers. The Inland Empire added 6,990 tech jobs between 2016 to 2021, a growth rate of 39 percent, which was the highest rate among U.S. markets. The Inland Empire also benefits from being the fifth-most-concentrated market for Gen Z, with those aged 20 to 24 years old representing 7.2 percent of the overall population.

The U.S. added a net 136,000 tech talent jobs last year across established hubs such as the San Francisco Bay Area, New York and Seattle as well as smaller markets like Nashville, Cleveland and California’s Inland Empire. Both tech job growth and tech office leasing proved resilient by rebounding in 2021 from slowdowns in 2020.

Los Angeles/Orange County stood out in the report for its tech talent gains during the pandemic, adding more than 7,000 tech workers in 2021 alone. The region also excelled in its tech degree completions, producing the second-highest number of tech graduates in 2020 (14,504), behind only the New York metro.

“The large number of tech degree graduates plays a significant role in the expansion we are seeing in the tech industry throughout southern California. The desirable weather and lifestyle in Los Angeles provides an added attraction for tech talent to remain here and for tech employers to locate where that talent wants to be based. This is fueling expansion by both traditional tech and tech directly linked to the media, entertainment and gaming sectors,” said Michelle Esquivel-Hall, executive vice president with CBRE’s Tech & Media Practice in Los Angeles.

CBRE’s report, now in its 10th year, ranks the top 50 North American markets by analyzing 13 measures of their ability to attract and develop tech talent, including tech graduation rates, tech-job concentration, tech labor pool size, and labor and real estate costs.

CBRE also ranks the Next 25 emerging tech markets on a narrower set of criteria. Tech talent is defined as 20 key tech professions — such as software engineers and systems and data managers – across all industries.

Greater Los Angeles/Orange County stood out in the report in several other key areas:

  • Greater Los Angeles/Orange County’s tech talent workforce grew by 10 percent from 2016 to 2021, reaching 235,800 workers. This makes it the fifth-largest tech talent workforce in North America.
  • The region produced nearly 45,000 more tech degrees than tech jobs between 2016 and 2021, meaning more tech talent is available for companies looking to hire in the region.
  • It is the 10th-most-concentrated market for both millennials and Gen Z with the age cohorts representing 22.6 percent and 6.8 percent of the overall population, respectively. For this analysis, CBRE defines millennials as 25 to 39 years old and working age Gen Z as 20 to 24 years old.
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