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July 16, 2021

Beacon Employment Report | California

Presented by Beacon Economics

Copyright © Beacon Economics LLC

California Job Recovery Has Gained Momentum In 2021

But State Cannot Afford Any Slowdown Due To COVID Resurgence


 Jobs Added In June

California’s labor market continued to expand at a rapid pace in June, although job growth did slow compared to the previous month, according to an analysis released jointly with Beacon Economics. Total nonfarm employment in the state grew by 74,500 positions in June, down from 94,700 in May. Note that May’s gains were revised down by 9,800 in the latest numbers (from the preliminary estimate of 104,500).

1.24 million

Fewer People Employed

Over the past five months, the state’s economy has added 558,700 jobs, representing the fastest hiring surge since the summer of 2020. These gains are welcome since, as of June 2021, there were still 1.24 million fewer people employed in the state compared to February 2020. Total nonfarm employment in California has contracted 7.0% since this time.

This compares unfavorably to the national picture, where the labor market has shrunk by 4.4% over the same period. However, because California has further to go to reach its pre-pandemic peak relative to the nation, the state should continue to see more rapid growth in the coming months.

“While California’s labor market recovery has gained significant momentum in 2021, there is still a substantial jobs deficit compared to pre-pandemic levels and the state’s economy is lagging the national recovery,” said Taner Osman, Research Manager at Beacon Economics and the Center for Forecasting. “At this juncture, with the imminent expiration of extended unemployment benefits, the state cannot afford any slowdown associated with a surge in new COVID cases.”


Unemployment Rate

California’s unemployment rate held steady at 7.7% in June, unchanged from the previous month, and the state’s labor force expanded by 35,500. California’s unemployment rate remains elevated relative to the 5.9% rate in the United States overall. Since February 2020, the state’s labor force has fallen by 534,300 workers, a 2.7% decline.



The Beacon Employment Report | California is 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 Center for Economic Forecasting and Development.

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