June 15, 2018

Beacon Employment Report

Presented by Beacon Economics and the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development

Welcome to the Beacon Employment Report, a unique analysis of California’s employment numbers and trends. Each month, we link our own econometric predictions to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the California Employment Development Department to identify important changes in employment across industries and regions. The Beacon Employment Report is also one of the few analyses that uses seasonally adjusted numbers. Click here to learn more about why seasonal adjustment is critical to revealing accurate trends and insights within data. The analysis is a sample of the kind of research available from the UC Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development.

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June 2018 Report


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In the latest numbers from the California Employment Development Department, the state added a modest 5,500 jobs, however the picture brightens when examined from an annual basis where data show that and all but one industry sector added positions over the past year, according to an analysis released jointly by  Beacon Economics  and the UC Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. At the same time, California’s unemployment rate remains at a historic low.

While the monthly statewide gain was weak, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) data paints a somewhat brighter picture, with the sum of the state’s MSAs totaling a monthly gain of 17,600 jobs. This suggests that the statewide number may be revised upward in subsequent reports.

California also saw its yearly job growth dip below the two percent threshold in May. With a total of 306,000 jobs added, year-over-year growth in the state fell to 1.8%, just ahead of the 1.6% pace of growth in the nation overall.

“Fluctuations in monthly job counts are to be expected as the state finds itself at full employment,” said  Robert Kleinhenz, Executive Director of Research at Beacon Economics and the UCR Center for Forecasting. “But in looking at yearly job changes across industries and regions of the state, a picture of steady job growth becomes clearer.”

California’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.2% in May. However, the state’s labor force declined for the second straight month. From a year-over-year perspective, the state’s labor force has grown by just 0.4%, while household employment has grown by 1.1%.

Key Findings:

At the industry level, employment growth was a mixed bag in May. The Leisure and Hospitality sector provided the most jobs last month, increasing payrolls by 7,900 positions.
Other sectors that added jobs during the month were Professional, Scientific & Technical Services (+4,700 jobs), Information (+2,200 jobs), and Retail Trade (+1,700). From a year-over-year perspective, payrolls have grown by 2.5% in Professional, Scientific & Technical Services, by 3.3% in Information, and by 0.9% in Retail Trade.
Job losses were most pronounced in Wholesale Trade (-4,300 jobs). With this sizeable decline, growth turned negative for the year with the sector shedding 2,500 positions (-0.3%) on an annual basis. Other sectors posting sizeable job losses during the month were Construction (-2,900 jobs) and Educational Services (-1,500 jobs). Still, growth remains positive from a year-over-year perspective, with Construction (+6.2%) and Educational Services (+2.5%) increasing payrolls from May 2017 to May 2018.
Regionally, growth was spread across the state. In the San Francisco Bay Area, San Francisco (MD) (+2,700) led the way, followed by San Jose (+1,800) and the East Bay (+1,400). From a year-over-year perspective, San Jose (+3.2%), the San Francisco (MD) (+2.1%), and the East Bay (+2.0%) have all grown steadily.
In Southern California, the Los Angeles (MD) (+5,300) added the most jobs, followed by the Inland Empire (+4,000), San Diego (+1,800), and Ventura (+700). From a year-over-year perspective, the Inland Empire (+2.9%), San Diego (+2.2%), the Los Angeles (MD) (+1.2%), and Orange County (+1.1%) have all grown steadily.
In the Central Valley, Bakersfield added 800 positions in May. This was followed by Madera (+600) and Chico (+500). Year-over-year, growth was led by Madera (3.7%), Merced (3.1%), and Stockton (+3.0%), with Visalia (+2.7%), Fresno (+2.6%), and Sacramento (+1.9%) also posting strong gains.

More Information

For information about any of the Center’s research services, please contact:

Director of Business Development Rick Smith at 951.827.2792 or rick.smith@ucr.edu or Deputy Director Sherif Hanna at 951.827.2792 or sherif.hanna@ucr.edu.