October 16, 2020
Beacon Employment Report | California
Presented by Beacon Economics and the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development
Welcome to the Beacon Employment Report | California, 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, which are 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.
CALIFORNIA’S LABOR MARKET RECOVERY CONTINUES AT SLOWING RATE; UNEMPLOYMENT DECLINES BUT REMAINS HIGHER THAN NATIONAL RATE
CA Labor Force Expands After Declining For Two Months
California’s labor market recovery continued in September, although at a slower pace than in previous months, according to an analysis released jointly by Beacon Economics and the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. Total nonfarm employment in the state expanded by 96,000 positions over the month.
Since the depths of the pandemic-driven labor market downturn in April, only 38% of the jobs lost have been recovered in the state. In September there were 1.6 million fewer people employed in California than in February 2020. The state’s labor market contraction of 9.2% since February compares unfavorably to the national picture, where the labor market has shrunk by 7% over the same period.
California’s unemployment rate declined to 11.0% in September, down from 11.2% in the previous month, but remains stubbornly high relative to the 7.9% rate in the United States overall. While the state’s labor force expanded in September, growing by 19,400, it is down by 850,000 people since February, as workers have become discouraged and stopped actively looking for employment. The labor force decline helps push the unemployment rate lower.
“With 1.6 million fewer people employed in September than in February, the rate of jobs growth has been disappointing since May,” said Taner Osman, Research Manager at Beacon Economics and the UCR Center for Forecasting. “If we keep adding jobs at September’s rate, the state will not return to February’s level of employment until sometime in 2022 – sobering news for those who have lost work since the outbreak of the pandemic.”