Intersections: A monthly go-to for reliable facts and analysis about California's debt, investments and economy

California Job Tracker

By Lynn Reaser

A strong hiring surge at year-end brought California's job gain for all of 2015 to a robust 459,000. This means that the state has added two million jobs during the past five years. California has also outperformed the nation for 46 consecutive months. December jobs in the state were 2.9% above their prior year's level, a full percentage point more than the job gain experienced nationally.

Job growth has also been dispersed throughout the state. As of year-end, 25 of California�s major metropolitan areas had fully recovered all of the jobs lost during the recession. The state�s total employment now stands at 870,000, or 5.6%, above its prior high. The boom in technology in northern California has pushed up jobs 18% in San Francisco and 15% in San Jose from their prior peaks.

While many uncertainties remain, California entered 2016 with a broad base of support from its very diffuse array of geographies and sub-economies.

California Regions Recover

Percent Change in Jobs from Pre-Recession Peaks

Map of California showing areas which have recovered or not recovered

See raw data: Employment numbers by region.

Lynn Reaser is chair 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.