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Career & Workplace

Still A Ways To Go, But California Labor Market Continues Recovery From Covid-19 As Jobs Are Added And Unemployment Falls

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Reimplementation of Restrictions To Prolong Recovery; State Labor Force Contracts

EMPLOYMENT REPORT

Presented by Beacon Economics and the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development

California’s labor market continued to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in July, with total nonfarm employment in the state expanding by 140,400 positions, according to an analysis released jointly by Beacon Economics and the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development.

“The addition of over 140,000 jobs in July is certainly a positive sign,” said Taner Osman, Research Manager at the UCR Center for Economic Forecasting and Beacon Economics. “But to place this figure in context, if we continue to add jobs at the same rate as in July, it will take until July 2021 to return the state’s labor market to the position it was in in February 2020.”

Year-over-year employment growth in California now stands at -9.4%, one of largest annual declines on record, only trumped by figures from earlier this year. The state has continued to perform slightly worse than the nation, where nonfarm employment declined by 7.5% over the same period. In July, there were over 1.6 million fewer people employed in California than in July 2019.

The state’s unemployment rate fell to 13.3% in July, a 1.6-percentage-point decline relative to June, but a far cry from the 4.0% rate from one year ago. The majority of those who have joined the unemployment rolls, however, still report the nature of their unemployment to be temporary, although a shrinking share of the unemployed report this way. The month-over-month decline in the state’s unemployment rate was aided by a decline in the state’s labor force, which contracted by 167,200 during the month, as some workers gave up looking for work. From a year-over-year perspective, the state’s labor force has declined by 3.0%, nearly 600,000 people, a deeper decline than the 2.1% drop in the nation overall.

Key Findings:

  • After declining in June, Government payrolls rebounded in the latest figures, adding 36,000 positions in July. This was the highest month-to-month gain by any sector in the state. State Government was responsible for the bulk of the gains, with payrolls increasing by a sizeable 31,700 positions in July. Government jobs have been slightly more insulated from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic than their private sector counterparts, although the sector is still down 6.2% over the last year.
  • The relaxation of public health mandates and business adaptation allowed a significant number of Retail sector establishments to re-open their doors in the first half of July, which increased payrolls by 28,800 during the month. Health Care and Other Services have also benefited from the relaxation of public health mandates, with jobs expanding by 23,700 and 17,300, respectively, during the month. However, with the reimplementation of businesses closures in the second half of July, certain businesses in Retail Trade and Other Services will temporarily shutter their doors. Health Care has been largely spared from the latest orders.
  • The Construction sector was the only sector to post declines in July, shedding 14,800 during the month. From a year-over-year perspective, Construction payrolls are down 6.3%, slightly better than the labor market as a whole. Renewed builder confidence and an uptick in business activity should give way to an increase in construction activity in the coming months.
  • In Southern California, Los Angeles (MD) saw the biggest job increases, where payrolls grew by 47,400 during the month. The Inland Empire (7,200), San Diego (4,300), and Ventura (4,200) also added a significant number of jobs during the month. Over the past year, Orange County (-12.0%) saw the steepest job losses in the region, measured by percentage decrease, followed by San Diego (-10.0%), the Inland Empire (-9.5%), Los Angeles (MD) (-9.4%), and Ventura (-9.0%).
  • In the San Francisco Bay Area, San Francisco (MD) experienced the largest increase, with payrolls expanding by 8,600 positions in July. Santa Rosa (6,200), San Jose (4,400), the East Bay (1,600), and Vallejo (600) also saw payrolls expand during the month. Over the past year, the East Bay (-12.6%) has had the steepest declines in the region, followed by Vallejo (-11.2%), San Rafael (MD) (-11.1%), San Francisco (MD) (-10.7%), and San Jose (-8.2%).
  • In the Central Valley, Sacramento experienced the largest monthly increase as payrolls expanded by 4,800 positions. Payrolls in Fresno (2,500), Merced (2,500), and Yuba (800) increased as well. Over the last year, Yuba (-10.8%) had the steepest declines followed by Stockton (-10.6%), Chico (-10.5), Modesto (-10.4%), Bakersfield (-9.6%), and Sacramento (-9.0%).
  • On California’s Central Coast, Santa Barbara added the largest number of jobs, with payrolls increasing by 5,500 during the month. Payrolls in San Luis Obispo (2,800), Salinas (2,700), and Santa Cruz (700) also increased. From a year-over-year perspective, Santa Cruz (-14.7%) shed positions at the fastest rate, followed by San Luis Obispo (-13.3%), Salinas (-12.4%), and Santa Barbara (-8.5%).
source: https://ucreconomicforecast.org/index.php/services-for-business/publications/beacon-employment-report/

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

Career & Workplace

Navigating California’s New Labor Laws — 2023 HR Confereence

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2023 Inland Empire Human Resources Conference

The 2023 Inland Empire Human Resources Conference promises to prepare businesses to be proactive against litigation, workplace disputes, risk mitigation, California labor law and regulatory compliance. The event will be held on Tuesday, February 7, from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Jessie Turner Community Center, 15556 Summit Avenue in Fontana. 

“The conference will be beneficial for all employers, leaders, and HR Professionals who want to stay up to date on labor laws and learn about the best practices for retention and recruitment,” said Vilma Brager, COO of Insight HR Consulting. “Insight HR Consulting is partnering with the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce to provide the tools and resources business need to thrive.”

More than seven major employment law changes took effect just this year — including disclosing salary ranges, paid sick leave, sexual assault claims and more.

Compliance with the constantly changing employment laws in California is essential. The state of California presumes that every employer, regardless of size is aware of new laws and is taking steps to implement changes where necessary,” said Allyson Thompson, Attorney and Partner at the law firm of Kaufman Dolowhich Voluck.

Key topics of discussion will include:

  • 2023 Labor & Employment Law Update
  • Employee Retention & Engagement
  • California’s Pay Transparency Bill

Speakers Include:

  • Vilma Brager, COO, Insight HR Consulting, LLC
  • Edward Ornelas, President & CEO, Inland Empire Chamber of Commerce (IERCC)
  • Allyson K. Thompson, Parnter, Attorney, Kaufman Dolowhich Voluck
  • Alyson Boyd, Major Market Sales Executive, Paycor
  • Brittany Huerta, Employee Benefits Consultant
  • Vanessa Casillas, CEO, Changing Lives Staffing
  • Juan P. Garcia, Principal, Blue Whale Compensation

Tickets are complimentary for members of the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce with pre-registration. Early bird registration for non-members is $10, and tickets will be $45 after early bird registration ends. Parking is free. To register, please visit the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce website at hr.iechamber.org.

The Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce, San Bernardino County, Insight HR Consulting, Maniaci Insurance Services, Inc., Paycor, and Strategic Retirement Partners sponsor this event.

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Career & Workplace

California’s Worker Shortage Struggle Continues…And Likely to Continue in 2023

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Job Growth Modest In Latest Numbers; Unemployment Rate Unchanged

California’s labor market expanded modestly in the latest numbers, with total nonfarm employment in the state growing by just 16,200 positions during December, according to an analysis released jointly by Beacon Economics and the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. November’s gains were also revised down to 19,900 in the latest numbers, a 6,900 decrease from the preliminary estimate of 26,800.

Overall, California added jobs at a healthy pace in 2021 and 2022. As of December 2022, the state had recovered all of the jobs that were lost in March and April 2020 at the pandemic’s outset, and there are now 70,000 more people employed in California compared to February 2020. Over this time, total nonfarm employment in the state has grown 0.4% compared to a 0.8% increase nationally. California’s economy increased payrolls by 3.6% from December 2021 to December 2022, outpacing the 3.0% increase nationally over the same period.

“During the year, California’s employers added jobs more quickly than was the case in the national economy, but labor shortages in the state dampened job growth towards the end of the year and will continue to be a drag on job growth in 2023,” said Taner Osman, Research Manager at Beacon Economics and the Center for Economic Forecasting.

Indeed, the state’s struggle to add available workers continues. In December, the state’s labor force contracted by 26,800 workers. Since February 2020, California’s labor force has fallen by 313,600 workers, a 1.6% decline. This lack of workers made it difficult for some employers to bring on the additional staff they typically recruit during the holiday season. California’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.1% in December, unchanged from the previous month. While this figure is near historic lows, the state’s unemployment rate remains elevated relative to the 3.5% rate in the United States overall.

Industry Profile  

  • Employment in nearly half of the job sectors in California now exceed their pre-pandemic levels; sectors that were hit the hardest by the pandemic have yet to recover all the jobs that were lost.
  • Health Care led job gains in December, with payrolls expanding by 8,900. Health Care payrolls are now 4.4% above their pre-pandemic peak.
  • Other sectors posting strong gains during the month were Construction (7,500), Government (6,000), Leisure and Hospitality (5,300), Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (4,500), Other Services (1,300), and Real Estate (1,100).
  • Retail Trade (-9,500) posted the most job losses during the month. Other sectors with significant job losses were Information (-6,100), Wholesale Trade (-2,000), and Administrative Support (-1,900).

Regional Profile

  • Regionally, job gains were led by Southern California. The Inland Empire saw the largest increase, where payrolls grew by 9,400 (0.6%) during the month. San Diego (8,600 or 0.6%), Orange County (4,300 or 0.3%), Los Angeles (MD) (2,100 or 0.0%), and Ventura (1,200 or 0.4%) also saw payrolls jump during the month. Since April 2020, the Inland Empire (140.8%) has experienced the strongest recovery in the region, followed by El Centro (115.3%), San Diego (105.1%), Orange County (100.0%), Los Angeles (MD) (94.7%), and Ventura (91.5%).
  • In the Bay Area, San Francisco (MD) experienced the largest job increase, with payrolls expanding by 6,400 (0.4%) positions in December. The East Bay (3,100 or 0.3%), San Jose (1,800 or 0.2%), Santa Rosa (800 or 0.4%), San Rafael (MD) (600 or 0.6%), Vallejo (500 or 0.4%), and Napa (400 or 0.6%) also saw payrolls expand during the month. Since April 2020, San Jose (105.3%) has experienced the strongest recovery in the region, followed by San Francisco (MD) (96.1%), the East Bay (92.6%), Santa Rosa (88.3%), Napa (79.4%), Vallejo (74.3%), and San Rafael (MD) (55.5%).
  • In the Central Valley, Sacramento experienced the largest monthly increase, as payrolls expanded by 2,800 (0.3%) positions in December. Payrolls in Fresno (1,400 or 0.4%), Visalia (500 or 0.4%), Chico (300 or 0.4%), Modesto (300 or 0.2%), Merced (200 or 0.3%), and Madera (100 or 0.2%) increased as well. Since April 2020, Stockton (147%) has experienced the strongest recovery in the region, followed by Visalia (135%), Madera (124%), Merced (122%), Sacramento (115.7%), Fresno (114.4%), Redding (113.9%), Hanford (110.3%), and Yuba (110%).
  • On California’s Central Coast, San Luis Obispo added the largest number of jobs, with payrolls increasing by 900 (0.8%) during the month. Santa Cruz (600 or 0.6%), Santa Barbara (600 or 0.3%), and Salinas (400 or 0.3%) experienced payroll declines during the month. Since April 2020, Santa Barbara (103.6%) has enjoyed the strongest recovery in the region, followed by San Luis Obispo (100%), Santa Cruz (91.6%), and Salinas (84.3%).
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Career & Workplace

California Continues Adding Jobs at a Healthy Pace But Hiring Remains Constrained by Lack of Workers

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Unemployment Rate Ticks Up, Elevated Compared To Nation

California’s labor market expanded steadily in November, with total nonfarm employment in the state growing by 26,800 positions, according to an analysis released jointly by Beacon Economics and the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. October’s gains were also revised up to 59,800 in the latest numbers, a 3,100 increase from the preliminary estimate of 56,700.

California has added jobs at a healthy pace in 2021 and 2022. As of November 2022, the state had recovered all of the jobs that were lost in March and April 2020, and there are now 60,700 more people employed in California compared to February 2020. Over this time, total nonfarm employment in the state has grown 0.3% compared to a 0.7% increase nationally. The state increased payrolls by 4.0% from November 2021 to November 2022, outpacing the 3.3% increase nationally during the same period.

California’s unemployment rate grew to 4.1% in the latest numbers, a 0.1 percentage-point increase over the previous month. While this is near historic lows, the unemployment rate remains elevated relative to the nation’s 3.7% rate. California continues to struggle with its labor supply, which fell by 21,000 in November. Since February 2020, the state’s labor force has contracted by 282,000 workers, a 1.4% decline. This lack of workers is making it difficult for some employers to hire the additional staff they typically bring on during the holiday season.

“While the state’s payrolls are now in expansion mode, many communities continue to struggle to find workers, especially in coastal areas of the state,” said Taner Osman, Research Manager at Beacon Economics and the Center for Economic Forecasting. “The lack of affordable housing along the coast is the primary constraint holding back job expansion.”

Industry Profile  

  • At the industry level, the largest job gains continue to occur in the sectors hit hardest by the pandemic. While employment in nearly half of California’s sectors now exceed their pre-pandemic peaks, employment levels in the hardest hit sectors remain below pre-pandemic levels and, as such, should continue to steadily gain jobs over the coming months.
  • Leisure and Hospitality led the gains in November, with payrolls expanding by 13,900. Leisure and Hospitality still has a long way to go to recover all of the jobs lost due to the pandemic, with payrolls still down 5.3% since February 2020.
  • Other sectors posting strong gains during the month were Health Care (10,500), Information (6,300), Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (3,800), Education (2,900), Other Services (2,800), Government (2,200), Real Estate (2,200), Administrative Support (1,500), and Manufacturing (1,100).
  • Job losses also occurred in November with Retail Trade (-14,700) leading the declines during the month. Other sectors posting significant job losses were Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities (-6,500) and Management (-600). With a tight labor market, Retail Trade and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities are finding it difficult to find the additional staff they typically hire during the holiday season.

Regional Profile

  • Regionally, job gains were led by Southern California. Los Angeles (MD) saw the largest increase, with payrolls growing by 18,000 (0.4%) during the month. San Diego (5,300 or 0.3%), Orange County (900 or 0.1%), and Ventura (200 or 0.1%) also saw their payrolls jump. Since April 2020, the Inland Empire (136.8%) has experienced the strongest recovery in Southern California, followed by El Centro (113.6%), San Diego (102.1%), Orange County (97.7%), Los Angeles (MD) (96.1%), and Ventura (90.4%).
  • In the Bay Area, San Francisco (MD) experienced the largest increase, with payrolls expanding by 3,000 (0.3%) positions in November. San Jose (2,000 or 0.2%), Santa Rosa (1,900 or 0.9%), the East Bay (1,100 or 0.1%), and Napa (500 or 0.7%) also saw payrolls expand during the month. Since April 2020, San Jose (104.7%) has experienced the strongest recovery in the Bay Area, followed by San Francisco (MD) (92.4%), the East Bay (91.6%), Santa Rosa (87%), Napa (78.3%), Vallejo (72%), and San Rafael (MD) (53.9%).
  • In the Central Valley, Sacramento experienced the largest monthly increase as payrolls expanded by 1,600 (0.2%) positions in November. Payrolls in Bakersfield (1,000 or 0.4%), Merced (800 or 1.1%), Stockton (700 or 0.3%), Chico (400 or 0.5%), Fresno (300 or 0.1%), Hanford (200 or 0.5%), Visalia (200 or 0.1%), and Redding (100 or 0.1%) increased as well. Since April 2020, Stockton (144.3%) has experienced the strongest recovery in the Central Valley, followed by Visalia (130.7%), Merced (122%), Redding (116.5%), Madera (116%), Sacramento (114.9%), Fresno (108.3%), Hanford (106.9%), and Yuba (106%).
  • On California’s Central Coast, Santa Barbara added the largest number of jobs, with payrolls increasing by 700 (0.4%) during the month. San Luis Obispo (400 or 0.3%), Salinas (300 or 0.2%), and Santa Cruz (300 or 0.3%) all saw payrolls decline during the month. Since April 2020, Santa Barbara (102.1%) has experienced the strongest recovery along the Central Coast, followed by San Luis Obispo (92.7%), Santa Cruz (88.4%), and Salinas (80.8%).
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