Connect with us

Career & Workplace

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



Reimplementation of Restrictions To Prolong Recovery; State Labor Force Contracts


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%).

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

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%).
Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.” 

Continue Reading

Business Journal Newsletter

Events Calendar

« May 2024 » loading...