October 19, 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.

Employment Data Resources

View the latest seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for:

United States

View seasonally adjusted industry employment data for California’s 28 MSAs and MDs:

October 2018 Report


Subscribe today to receive select forecasts and analyses by email:

Subscribe Today

Need Forecast Data?

Beacon Economics provides customized five-year data forecasts for variables including:
  • Taxable Sales
  • Home Prices & Sales
  • Personal Income
  • Unemployment
Contact Us


Nonfarm job growth in California was modest in September, with the state adding 13,200 positions in the latest numbers from the Economic Development Department (EDD), according to an analysis released jointly by Beacon Economics and the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. From September 2017 to September 2018, California’s job growth rate (2.0%) outshined the nation’s (1.7%), while its yearly increase of 339,600 jobs was third largest among the 50 states.

California’s unemployment rate declined to 4.1% in the latest numbers, a new historic low, despite a 34,300 increase in the state’s labor force over the month. However, labor force growth remains modest from a year-over-year perspective, growing by just 4,900 from September 2017 to September 2018.

“September’s monthly gain was below this year’s average of 22,000, but monthly employment changes are quite volatile,” said Robert Kleinhenz, Executive Director of Research at Beacon Economics and the Center for Forecasting. “More significantly, the state has maintained a yearly job growth rate of about 2% for several months running, despite a record low unemployment rate that edged down further this month and a labor force that is barely growing.” Kleinhenz noted that labor force constraints will begin to slow job growth across California in 2019.

Key Findings:

At the industry level, growth was somewhat mixed in September. While the majority of sectors saw continued increases in payrolls, a handful shed positions. The Administrative Support sector was responsible for the most jobs added during the month (+8,800), with year-over-year growth coming in at 3.1%. The Leisure and Hospitality sector also had a strong month, adding 8,500 positions. Other sectors that grew during the month include Government (+5,100 positions), Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (+3,800 positions), and Real Estate (+1,500 positions).
The Leisure and Hospitality sector led the way in terms of year-over-year gains with 68,600 jobs added, increasing payrolls by 3.5% from September 2017 to September 2018. Health Care continued its solid performance, adding 64,500 jobs, followed by Government at 42,800 jobs, and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services with 40,300 positions added.
The sector posting the largest decline this month was Information, which shed 3,000 positions. However, payrolls in this industry have grown by 1.1% from a year-over-year perspective. Other sectors posting sizeable declines in September were Educational Services (-2,400 positions), Construction (-2,000 positions), and Other Services (-1,800 positions).
Regionally, growth was mixed. In Southern California, payrolls expanded in San Diego (+3,100) and the Inland Empire (+1,900), while payrolls declined in Orange County (-2,600) and Los Angeles (MD) (-400). From a year-over-year perspective, the Inland Empire grew the most (3.3%), followed by San Diego County (2.0%), Los Angeles (MD) (1.2%), Ventura County (+0.9%), and Orange County (0.5%).
In the San Francisco Bay Area, the East Bay (+2,400) and San Francisco (MD) (+1,000) added the largest number of jobs in September. From a year-over-year perspective, San Jose (+3.7%) grew the most, followed by San Rafael (+3.6%), Santa Rosa (+2.7%), San Francisco (MD) (+1.9%), and the East Bay (+1.9%).
In the Central Valley, growth was led by Stockton (+1,100), Fresno (+600) and Chico (+500) and declines were led by Sacramento (-4,100) and Bakersfield (-1,700). From a year-over-year perspective, Merced (+4.2%) grew the most, followed by Chico (+3.5%), Stockton (+3.3%), and Fresno (+3.2%).
On the Central Coast, job growth was led by Santa Barbara and Salinas, which each added 700 jobs, with Santa Cruz (+300) and San Luis Obispo (+200) also adding positions in September. From a year-over-year perspective, Salinas (+3.7%) grew the most, followed by Santa Cruz (+2.8%), San Luis Obispo (+1.3%), and Santa Barbara (+0.8%).

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.