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June Brings Largest Monthly Job Increase On Record As Health Mandates Eased



Good News Tempered: Resurging Virus, Expected to Drag Down July and August Numbers; California Unemployment Rate Declines Modestly

July 17, 2020 — In June, as public health mandates to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus were eased, California saw the largest month-over-month job increase on record, with the addition of 558,200 positions, according to an analysis released jointly by Beacon Economics and the UC Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. 

Any exuberance should be tempered, however, since there are still roughly two million fewer jobs in the state than at the peak prior to the pandemic. Furthermore, the resurging spread of the virus in the state has led Governor Newsom to reimplement many business closures. A stable and ongoing economic recovery cannot occur until the virus is contained in the state and the nation, according to the analysis.

“Despite June’s strong numbers, we’re unlikely to see the labor market’s recovery continue at such a pace,” said Taner Osman, Research Manager at Beacon Economics and the UCR Center for Forecasting. “The number of jobs added will likely represent the high mark until the virus in the state is contained. The strongest job gains were seen in Leisure and Hospitality, and these are the very sectors that will be hit the hardest by health-mandated business closures.”

In June, year-over-year employment growth in California stood at -10.0%, a decline of 1.7 million positions, the third largest annual decline on record, only trumped by the figures in April and May. The state fared worse than the nation, where nonfarm employment declined by 8.6% over the same period.

From June 2019 to June 2020, 2.1 million workers were added to the state’s unemployment ranks, which means in June, the unemployment rate stood at 14.9%, a relatively modest decline from the 16.3% rate recorded in May. California’s June unemployment rate is higher than the national figure of 11.1%. The number of unemployed Californian’s is over three and half times the level seen one year earlier, at 2,831,031.

On a positive note, the state’s labor force surged by 441,200 people in June, as encouraged workers rejoined the labor force. That said, state’s labor force has declined by 433,000 over the past year, although the strong month cut the pandemic declines by just over half. 

Key Findings:

  • As Leisure and Hospitality led job losses in April, the sector led job gains in June, increasing payrolls by 292,500. This sector accounted for 52% of all job gains in California for the month. Both Accommodation and Food Services (242,500) and Arts and Entertainment (50,000) added to their payrolls by healthy margins in June. However, Leisure and Hospitality has significant ground to make-up, with payrolls falling 30% from June 2019 to June 2020. The re-implementation of restrictions on inside dining and bars will likely negatively affect the industry in July.   
  • The easing of public health mandates also allowed a significant number of Retail establishments to open their doors, which increased payrolls by 71,300 in June. Other Services – which includes hair and nail salons – also benefited from the easing of public health mandates, adding 27,700 positions during the month. However, the reimplementation of businesses closures will hit Retail Trade and Other Services in July and August.
  • Sectors that were not as impacted by the public health mandates also expanded in June. Construction (+26,800) and Manufacturing (+23,400) grew by significant margin, and importantly, these gains should not be impacted by the reimplementation of closures. These sectors also have ground to make up before returning to pre-recession levels, however, with payrolls in Construction (-4.5%) and Manufacturing (-7.6%) down over the last year.
  • Government was the only sector to post declines in June as payrolls decreased by 36,300 positions during the month. State Government was responsible for the bulk of the declines, with payrolls falling by 30,200 in June. Government positions have been slightly more insulated from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic than those in the private sector but are still down 7.6% over the last year.
  • Regionally, job increases were led by Southern California. Los Angeles (MD) saw the biggest increase, where payrolls grew by 154,900 during the month. Orange County (68,200), San Diego (51,600), and the Inland Empire (43,800) also added a significant number of jobs during the month. Over the past year, Orange County (-11.7%) experienced the steepest job losses in the region, measured by percentage decrease, followed by Ventura (-10.3%), Los Angeles (MD) (-10.3%), San Diego (-10.3%), and the Inland Empire (-9.7%).
  • In the San Francisco Bay Area, San Francisco (MD) and San Jose experienced the largest increases, where payrolls each expanded by 37,200 positions in June. The East Bay (27,300), Santa Rosa (8,500), San Rafael (MD) (5,500), Napa (3,800), and Vallejo (2,800) also saw payrolls expand during the month. Over the past year, Vallejo (-12.6%) had the steepest declines in the region, followed by the East Bay (-12.1%), San Francisco (MD) (-10.9%), and San Rafael (MD) (-10.5%).
  • In the Central Valley, Sacramento experienced the largest monthly increase as payrolls expanded by 23,400 positions. Payrolls in Fresno (10,600), Bakersfield (9,900), Modesto (7,600), Stockton (7,500), and Visalia (5,300) increased as well. Over the last year, Yuba (-11.4%) had the steepest declines followed by Modesto (-10.4%), Sacramento (-9.3%), Madera (-9.2%), Bakersfield (-9.0%), Chico, (-8.5%), and Redding (-8.5%).
  • On California’s Central Coast, Santa Barbara added the largest number of jobs, with payrolls increasing by 7,100 during the month. Payrolls in Salinas (6,600), San Luis Obispo (2,500), and Santa Cruz (2,400) also increased during the month. From a year-over-year perspective, San Luis Obispo (-15.9%) shed positions at the fastest rate, followed by Santa Cruz (-14.8%), Salinas (-13.5%), and Santa Barbara (-11.5%).

By Beacon Economics, 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 Taner Osman and Brian Vanderplas. Learn more at and

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



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



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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Career & Workplace

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



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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