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Pre Coronavirus Job Numbers Show Modest Growth But New World Of ‘Containment’ Means Drop In Spending And Job Losses To Come 



Pre Coronavirus: State Labor Force Accelerates, Unemployment Rate Remains Steady

March 13, 2020 — 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 (the latest) and the annual benchmark revision from the California Employment Development Department (EDD).

Annual Revision

The annual benchmark revision released today by the California EDD saw 2019’s employment figures revised downwards. Employment growth in the state from 2018 to 2019 was revised down from 1.7% to 1.5%. This revision translates into 38,900 fewer jobs added in the state during the year than the EDD had originally estimated. 

“Despite the slight downward revision, the California economy turned in another strong performance in 2019 which is very welcome at the moment,” said Taner Osman, Research Manager at Beacon Economics and the UCR Center for Forecasting. “While the coronavirus outbreak has injected major uncertainty into the 2020 outlook, California’s labor market enters this uncertainty from a position of strength, which should help dampen the effect of a short-term contraction in economic activity.”

The state’s labor force growth also saw revisions. Year-over-year, labor force growth was revised up to 0.6% from 0.5%.  This means that 78,200 more people joined the labor force during the year than originally estimated. 

At the industry level, the benchmark revision was mixed, with growth rates in some sectors revised upwards, while others were revised downwards. The biggest upward revisions to year-over-year growth rates (2018 to 2019) were in Transportation, Warehousing & Utilities (from an estimate of 2.3% to a revised figure of 5.4%), Real Estate (revised from 1.4% to 2.6%), Information (revised from 2.4% original to 3.5%), Professional, Scientific, & Technical Services (revised from  3.0% to 4.0%), and Other Services (revised from 0.4% to 0.8%).

The biggest downward revisions in year-over-year growth rates were in Administrative Support (revised from 2.5% to 0.3%), Retail Trade (revised from -0.5% to -1.6% revised), Management (revised from 1.0% to 0.0%), Manufacturing (revised from 0.9% to 0.0%), Mining and Logging (revised from 1.1% to 0.4%), Finance and Insurance (revised from -0.2% to -0.8%), and Construction (revised from 3.4%  to 2.7%).

The annual benchmark revision was also mixed at the metro region level, with growth rates revised up in some regions and down in others. The largest upward revisions in year-over-year growth rates were in Yuba (revised from 1.9% to 4.9% ), Stockton (revised from 0.2% to 2.3%), El Centro (revised from 0.4% to 1.9%), Vallejo (revised from 0.0% to 1.2%), Redding (revised from 1.0% to 1.6%), and the Inland Empire (revised from  1.8% to 2.4%). The largest declines in year-over-year growth rates from 2018 to 2019 were in Chico (revised from 1.7% to -2.2%), San Rafael (MD) (revised from 2.4% to 0.4%), Salinas (revised from 3.2% to 1.6% ), the East Bay (revised from 1.7% to 0.5%), San Jose (revised from 2.7% to 1.8%), Santa Rosa (revised from 1.3% to 0.5%), Fresno (revised from 3.2% to 2.4%), and Hanford (revised from 1.3% to 0.8%).

January Numbers

Nonfarm employment in California began 2020 with modest gains. The latest figures released by the California EDD reveal that employment in the state grew by 21,400 jobs in January, and since January 2019, California has added 251,800 jobs, the equivalent of a 1.5% year-over-year increase, surpassing the nation’s growth rate of 1.4%.

But it’s a different world today. “Monthly job releases usually provide an important read on the economy, enabling us to track trends in growth and take the temperature of recent hiring activity,” said Osman. “In view of the coronavirus outbreak, January’s figures relate to a different economic reality. In a world of containment, in the short-term, we’ll likely see a precipitous fall in discretionary spending which will almost surely lead to job losses in ‘experiential’ sectors of the economy, such as the arts and entertainment, and restaurants and tourism. If containment is short-lived, however, we should expect spending to rebound quickly, and job growth to return.”

The January numbers show that California’s unemployment rate held steady at 3.9%, maintaining its record low. The state’s labor force also expanded by 26,100 in January, which would normally improve the overall job outlook although the effects of the coronavirus are expected to have a negative impact in at least the near term. Year-over-year gains for California’s labor force now stand at 0.7%, a considerable increase from the 0.2% increase reported in last month’s figures.

Key January Findings

  • The Leisure and Hospitality sector added more jobs in January than any other sector in the state’s economy, boosting payrolls by 7,800 positions. Since January 2019, the sector grew at a steady pace, increasing payrolls by 1.7%. However, the current outlook for this sector is almost certainly weak. The effect of COVID-19 does not register in the current numbers and will not appear in the numbers in a meaningful way until data for April are available. The closing of major entertainment establishments, the postponement or cancellation of large public gatherings, as well as the overall decrease in travel, will very likely have a negative impact on jobs in this sector in the coming months.
  • The Health Care sector also had a strong month, increasing payrolls by 6,800 in January. Other sectors posting strong gains in January were Information (5,500), Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities (3,400), Wholesale Trade (2,600), and Other Services (2,500).
  • Over the twelve-month period from January 2019 to January 2020, Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities (4.2%), Information (4.2%), Educational Services (3.9%), Health Care (3.0%), Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (2.8%), and Construction (2.0%) experienced the biggest job gains.
  • Despite overall job growth in the state, payrolls decreased in a handful of sectors in January. Retail Trade posted the largest decline, where payrolls declined by 2,600. The month-over-month decline also drove year-over-year growth to a 1.2% decrease. Payrolls in Construction (-2,400), Professional, Scientific, & Technical Services (-2,300), Management (-1,600), and Manufacturing (-900) also contracted in January.
  • Within the state, job growth was led by Southern California. Los Angeles (MD) saw the biggest gains, where payrolls grew by 10,6000 during the month. Orange County (2,100), the Inland Empire (1,800), and San Diego (1,300) also enjoyed job gains. Over the past year, El Centro (1.9%) saw the fastest job growth in the region, followed by the Inland Empire (1.5%), Los Angeles (MD) (1.4%), Ventura (1.4%), San Diego (1.3%), and Orange County (1.1%).
  • In the Bay Area, San Francisco (MD) led the way, where payrolls expanded by 3,500 positions in January. San Jose (2,900), the East Bay (1,100), and San Rafael (MD) (700) also increased payrolls during the month. Over the past year, San Francisco (MD) (3.0%) saw the fastest job growth in the region, followed by Napa (2.3%), San Rafael (MD) (1.8%), Santa Rosa (1.8%), and San Jose (1.4%).
  • In the Central Valley, Bakersfield saw the biggest monthly gains, where payrolls increased by 400 positions. Modesto (300), Sacramento (300), Merced, (200), and Yuba (200) added jobs as well. Over the past 12 months, Yuba (8.4%) saw the fastest growth, followed by Bakersfield (2.3%), Fresno (2.1%), Modesto (1.8%), and Visalia (1.6%).
  • On the Central Coast, San Luis Obispo added the greatest number of jobs, with payrolls growing by 400 over the month. In Santa Barbara, 200 positions were added to local payrolls. From January 2019 to January 2020, San Luis Obispo (1.9%) added jobs at the fastest rate, followed by Santa Cruz (1.5%), Salinas (1.4%), and Santa Barbara (1.1%).


 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 Thornberg, 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.


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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