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

California Job Tracker: Recovery Welcomes Ventura County

By Lynn Reaser, Ph.D., CBE

With a strong October jobs report, Ventura County (Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura metropolitan statistical area) has now joined the large group of California areas that have fully recovered the job losses suffered during the recession. (See Figure 1.) Only three areas (Redding, Hanford, and Yuba City), comprising just 1% of the regional job total, have not exceeded their pre-recession peaks.

The state also posted a solid job gain in October, as nonfarm employers added 31,000 positions. The jobless rate held steady at 5.5% for the fourth month in a row, and that took place despite a large rise in people now gaining enough confidence to again enter the workforce.

California continues to outpace the nation in terms of job growth. Relative to a year ago, the state�s nonfarm payrolls increased 2.4% in October versus a 1.7% gain throughout the country. This was the 56th consecutive month that the state has bested the group of other states as a whole.

California�s job market has room to improve further, with more people who have moved to the sidelines returning to the job market and finding positions. Workers would also welcome larger wage increases. Both trends are likely to take place over the next several months as California�s economy makes further progress.


Figure 1

Figure 2 - Map of California showing areas which have recovered or not recovered

See raw data: Employment numbers by region.

Source: FBEI, EDD

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.