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

California Job Tracker: State Ends Summer with More People Working

More Californians were headed for work than the beach in August as employers continued to expand their payrolls. Compared to the prior month, nonfarm firms, nonprofit organizations and government entities added 63,000 employees. This was the largest increase since April. Compared to a year ago, the state�s total employment increased by 2.3% versus a national gain of 1.7%. The state has now outperformed the nation for 54 consecutive months or 4 � years.

Figure 1: Table showing California job growth widespread among sectors

California�s jobless rate held steady at 5.5% between July and August, but the underpinnings of this report were positive. A large number of people were optimistic enough to enter the labor force, while many more job openings appeared. The unemployment rate is down from the 6.0% level of a year ago and is less than one-half the 12.2% peak of October 2010.

Job growth continues to be dispersed across a wide array of industries, occupations and wage levels. (See Figures 1 and 2.) About one-third of the jobs created between August of last year and this year paid an average hourly wage of $25-34 an hour. Many of these jobs were in management or administrative services, education, transportation, utilities, construction and government.

Figure 2: Column chard showing Job growth dispersed across wage levels

Almost all of California has fully recovered from the recession and many regions continued to reach new employment records in August. (See Figure 3.) Only four metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), representing just 3% of the regional job total, have not fully recovered to their pre-recession peaks.

The continued momentum in California�s job market shows the state�s ability to withstand the slowing of the global economy, the strong dollar, and many of the other pressures weighing on the nation as a whole.









Figure 3

Percent Change in Jobs from Pre-Recession Peaks

Figure 3 - Map of California showing areas which have recovered or not recovered

See raw data: Employment numbers by region.