Intersections: A Monthly Go-To for Reliable Facts and Analysis About California's Debt, Investments and Economy

Vol. 1, No. 7, Published November 4, 2015

California Job Tracker: Unemployment Falls Below 6% for First Time Since 2007; Stockton-Lodi Region Rejoins Recovery Group

By Lynn Reaser

stock market bear and bull

California�s job market posted further gains in September, although some of the signs were mixed. Payroll job gains slowed after two robust months, while the jobless rate fell to 5.9 percent. This was the first time California�s unemployment rate had fallen to below 6.0 percent since November 2007.

The Stockton-Lodi metropolitan area regained its status as one of the state�s regions that has fully recovered all of the losses experienced during the Recession. Only seven of California�s 29 metropolitan areas have now failed to exceed their prior peaks. Sacramento is the largest area in that group, but it appears to be only one or two months away from regaining its prior employment high.

Non-farm jobs in California as a whole are now 741,000, or 4.8 percent, above the prior peak reached in July 2007.

Figure 16: 22 of California�s 29 Metro Areas Have Recovered Recession Job Losses
(As of September 2015)

Map of California showing areas which have recovered or not recovered

Sources: California Employment Development Department, Labor Market Information; Fermanian Business and Economic Institute

Figure 17: Job Recovery by the Numbers (As of September 2015)

(Nonfarm Employment, Seasonally Adjusted)

The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale metropolitan district is the largest region to regain jobs lost during the Recession, while the Stockton-Lodi MSA is the most recent region to rejoin the recovery club. Twenty-two out of 29 metropolitan areas have totally recovered all of the jobs lost during the Recession.

*Numbers for the San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco Metropolitan District and San Rafael Metropolitan District are not seasonally adjusted.

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, California Employment Development Department, Fermanian Business and Economic Institute

See raw data: Employment numbers by region.

Lynn Reaser is chief of the Treasurer’s Council of Economic Advisors and chief economist at the Fermanian Business and Economic Institute for Point Loma Nazarene University. The opinions in this article are presented in the spirit of spurring discussion and reflect those of the author and not necessarily the Treasurer, his office or the State of California.