California December Jobs Report
- Unemployment Rate Improves to 4.3%; Total Employment Gains 38,600
The Labor Force data for December 2017 (seasonally adjusted; California preliminary) is shown below, along with the change from the prior month:
|Dec 2017||Change from Nov 2017||Dec 2017||Change from Nov 2017|
The related not seasonally adjusted numbers (California preliminary), with the change from December 2016:
|Not Seasonally Adjusted||California||US|
|Dec 2017||Change from Dec 2016||Dec 2017||Change from Dec 2016|
California Employment Development Department’s (EDD) latest data shows on a seasonally adjusted basis, total employment was up 38,600 from November, while the number of unemployed dropped by 46,200. The labor force essentially stayed level with a drop of 7,600.
California’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate improved to 4.3%, the lowest in the current data series that began in 1976. California had the 22nd highest unemployment rate among the states. The unadjusted rate from dropped from 5.0% in December 2016 to 4.2%.
Total US employment saw a seasonally adjusted gain of 104,000 from November, while the number of unemployed dropped by 40,000. The national unemployment rate was steady at 4.1%. The national labor force numbers rose by 64,000.
Labor Force Participation Rate Eases Down
California’s participation rate (seasonally adjusted) in December eased to 62.4%, while the US rate stayed at 62.7%.
State Employment Growth Rankings
|Rank||Number of Employed||Percentage Change||Population Adjusted
(employment growth per 1,000 civilian
Between December 2016 and December 2017, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows the total number of employed in California increased by 382,100 (seasonally adjusted), or 21.4% of the total net employment gains in this period for the US. Based on the total numbers, California remained in 1st place ahead of Florida (which has a civilian working age population only 55% as large as California’s) at 302,200 and Texas (69% as large) at 301,500. Measured by percentage change in employment over the year, California improved to 18th highest. Adjusted for working age population, California rose to 16th.
Nonfarm Jobs Up 52,700
EDD reported that between November and December 2017, seasonally adjusted nonfarm wage and salary jobs grew 52,700. November’s gains were revised to 53,700 from the previously reported 47,400.
In the not seasonally adjusted nonfarm numbers overall, hiring saw increases in all but 4 industries over the year. The change in total payroll jobs from December 2016 saw the largest increases in Construction (60,000), Government (46,100), and Food Services (42,900). Declines included Manufacturing (-2,800), Retail Trade (-1,400), and Mining & Logging (-800).
|Not Seasonally Adjusted Payroll Jobs||Dec 2017||Nov 2017||Change Dec 2017 – Nov 2017||Change Dec 2017 – Dec 2016|
|Mining and Logging||22,300||23,100||-800||-800|
|Transportation & Warehousing||567,700||559,300||8,400||14,200|
|Finance & Insurance||557,100||550,700||6,400||5,900|
|Real Estate & Rental & Leasing||288,300||286,900||1,400||4,700|
|Professional, Scientific & Technical Services||1,238,800||1,238,200||600||4,200|
|Management of Companies & Enterprises||233,500||231,900||1,600||5,300|
|Administrative & Support & Waste Services||1,114,100||1,109,800||4,300||17,200|
|Arts, Entertainment & Recreation||316,500||307,900||8,600||15,000|
|Total Wage and Salary||17,473,100||17,476,600||-3,500||347,500|
At 342,500, California showed the highest increase in seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs among the states from December 2016 to December 2017, ahead of Texas at 306,900. By percentage growth in jobs, California rose to 9th highest at 2.1%, above the US average of 1.4%. By population adjusted jobs growth, California rose to 13th highest.
|Rank||Number of Jobs||Employment Growth (%)||Population Adjusted
(job growth per 1,000 civilian
Six Industries Below 2007 Pre-Recession Job Levels
Comparing the number of jobs by industry in December 2017 (not seasonally adjusted), six industries had employment below the 2007 pre-recession levels. The highest gain industries were led by lower wage Food Services, Health Care (with a relatively higher mix of lower and higher wage occupations), lower wage Social Assistance, and higher wage Professional, Scientific & Technical Services. Of the lagging industries, three—Manufacturing, Mining & Logging, and Construction—are blue collar middle class wage industries, while the higher wage Finance & Insurance also remained in the minus column. Construction losses, however, have begun to contract.
Job Gains by Wage Level
The following chart illustrates the trend for total wage and salary jobs by general wage level, according to the industry wage classification used previously in other Center analyses of this issue. As indicated, about one-third of net jobs growth since the recession has been in the low wage industries, while the stronger showing for Construction shows stronger gains in this period for blue collar middle class jobs. Construction, however, was stronger primarily due to dry conditions in December 2017 compared to near normal precipitation levels in December 2007.
Two-Tier Economy Persists—Central Valley Unemployment More than Twice as High as Bay Area
While unemployment rates have improved in the interior counties as a result of seasonal employment, the level of unemployment rates (all data is not seasonally adjusted) continues to vary widely across the state, ranging from 2.8% in the Bay Area to more than twice as large at 8.1% in the Central Valley.
|Not Seasonally Adjusted||Unemployment Rate (%) December 2017|
By Legislative District:
|Lowest 10 Unemployment Rates|
|CD18 (Eshoo-D)||2.2||SD13 (Hill-D)||2.0||AD22 (Mullin-D)||1.9|
|CD12 (Pelosi-D)||2.2||SD11 (Wiener-D)||2.4||AD16 (Baker-R)||2.0|
|CD52 (Peters-D)||2.4||SD39 (Atkins-D)||2.5||AD24 (Berman-D)||2.1|
|CD14 (Speier-D)||2.4||SD36 (Bates-R)||2.5||AD28 (Low-D)||2.2|
|CD45 (Walters-R)||2.5||SD37 (Moorlach-R)||2.6||AD17 (Chiu-D)||2.4|
|CD17 (Khanna-D)||2.5||SD10 (Wieckowski-D)||2.7||AD77 (Maienschein-R)||2.4|
|CD49 (Issa-R)||2.5||SD07 (Glazer-D)||2.8||AD73 (Brough-R)||2.4|
|CD15 (Swalwell-D)||2.6||SD15 (Beall-D)||2.8||AD78 (Gloria-D)||2.4|
|CD48 (Rohrabacher-R)||2.7||SD34 (Nguyen-R)||3.1||AD19 (Ting-D)||2.5|
|CD02 (Huffman-D)||3.0||SD26 (Allen-D)||3.2||AD25 (Chu-D)||2.5|
|Highest 10 Unemployment Rates|
|CD03 (Garamendi-D)||5.4||SD30 (Mitchell-D)||4.9||AD03 (Gallagher-R)||6.4|
|CD44 (Barragán-D)||5.8||SD17 (Monning-D)||5.0||AD34 (Fong-R)||6.7|
|CD09 (McNerney-D)||6.0||SD04 (Nielsen-R)||5.1||AD30 (Caballero-D)||6.8|
|CD10 (Denham-R)||6.3||SD35 (Bradford-D)||5.2||AD23 (Patterson-R)||7.0|
|CD23 (McCarthy-R)||7.3||SD05 (Galgiani-D)||6.4||AD13 (Eggman-D)||7.2|
|CD20 (Panetta-D)||7.7||SD08 (Berryhill-R)||6.4||AD21 (Gray-D)||8.9|
|CD22 (Nunes-R)||7.9||SD40 (Hueso-D)||7.1||AD56 (Garcia-D)||9.5|
|CD51 (Vargas-D)||8.3||SD16 (Fuller-R)||7.2||AD31 (Arambula-D)||9.6|
|CD16 (Costa-D)||9.2||SD12 (Cannella-R)||8.6||AD26 (Mathis-R)||9.8|
|CD21 (Valadao-R)||10.1||SD14 (Vidak-R)||11.0||AD32 (Salas-D)||10.4|
Bay Area Provided 40% of Net Employment Growth Since Recession
Containing 19.4% of the state’s population, the Bay Area was responsible for 40.1% of the net growth in employment since the pre-recession peaks in 2007. Inland Empire provided the next largest share at 19.5%, but Los Angeles Region, containing 29.2% of the population, accounted for third at 19.0%. Inland Empire is the only other region continuing to show employment gains above their population share.
Seven California MSAs in the 10 Worst Unemployment Rates Nationally
According to BLS data, of the 10 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) with the worst unemployment rates nationally, 7 are in California. Of the 20 worst, 9 are in California.
|Rank||Metropolitan Area||November 2017 Rate|
|367||Stockton-Lodi, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area||6.2|
|370||Anchorage, AK Metropolitan Statistical Area||6.3|
|370||Fairbanks, AK Metropolitan Statistical Area||6.3|
|370||Las Cruces, NM Metropolitan Statistical Area||6.3|
|373||Farmington, NM Metropolitan Statistical Area||6.4|
|374||Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area||6.5|
|374||Rocky Mount, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area||6.5|
|376||Watertown-Fort Drum, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area||6.8|
|377||Madera, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area||7.0|
|378||Vineland-Bridgeton, NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area||7.1|
|378||Yuba City, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area||7.1|
|380||Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area||7.3|
|381||Bakersfield, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area||7.4|
|382||Hanford-Corcoran, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area||7.5|
|383||Fresno, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area||7.6|
|384||Merced, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area||7.8|
|385||Visalia-Porterville, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area||8.9|
|386||Ocean City, NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area||12.1|
|387||Yuma, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area||15.6|
|388||El Centro, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area||19.8|
The agencies are going through their annual revisions to the labor force and jobs series. No releases are scheduled for February, with the January data set for release on March 2 (California) and March 12 (other states), and the February data on March 23 (California and other states). Revised labor force and industry employment and hours and earnings data will also be issued for prior years.
Note: All data sources, methodologies, and historical data series available at CenterforJobs.org.