California unemployment rate rises to 4.3 percent in March

• Employers add 24,500 nonfarm payroll jobs
• Jobless rates ride in all Central Valley counties

California’s unemployment increased to 4.3 percent in March while the state’s employers added 24,500 nonfarm
payroll jobs, according to data released Friday by the California Employment Development Department from two surveys.

California has now gained a total of 3,163,900 jobs since the economic expansion began in February 2010. The U.S. unemployment rate remained at 3.8 percent, and the nation’s employers added 196,000 nonfarm payroll jobs last month.

In March of last year, the state’s unemployment rate was 4.3 percent. The unemployment rate is derived from a federal survey of 5,100 California households.

Nonfarm payroll jobs in California totaled 17,353,500 in March, according to a survey of businesses that is larger and less variable statistically. The survey of 80,000 California businesses measures jobs in the economy. The year-over change from March 2018 to March 2019 shows
an increase of 238,500 jobs (up 1.4 percent).

The federal survey’s results
The federal household survey, done with a smaller sample than the survey of employers, shows a decrease in the number of employed Californians over the month. It estimates the number of Californians holding jobs in March was 18,742,000, a decrease of 17,000 from
February and up 274,000 from the employment total in March of last year. The number of unemployed Californians was 838,500 in
March – an increase of 14,300 over the month and up by 5,200 compared with March of last year. EDD’s payroll employment report (wage and salary jobs) in the nonfarm industries of California totaled 17,353,500 in March, a net gain of 24,500 jobs from February. This
followed a revised gain of 20,900 jobs in February.

Month-over Job Gains
Nine of California’s eleven industry sectors added a total of 30,400 jobs in March. Construction reported the largest increase with a gain of 9,400 jobs. Other sectors adding jobs over the month were professional and business services, manufacturing, educational and health services, information, other services, leisure and hospitality, government, and mining and logging.

Month-over Job Losses
Two of California industries reported job losses over the month. Trade, transportation, and utilities reported the largest decrease with a loss of 5,800 jobs while financial activities had a loss of 100 jobs.

Year-over Job Gains
In a year-over-year comparison (March 2018 to March 2019), nonfarm payroll employment in California increased by 238,500 jobs (a 1.4 percent increase). Ten of California’s eleven industry sectors added a total of 242,700 jobs over the year. The largest job gains were in
professional and business services, up 65,900 (a 2.5 percent increase) and educational and health services, up 64,100 jobs (a 2.4 percent increase). Other sectors adding  jobs over the year were leisure and hospitality, government, construction, manufacturing, information, trade, transportation and utilities, other services, and mining and logging.

Year-over Job Losses
The only industry that posted a year-over decline was financial activities with a job loss of 4,200. In related data, the EDD reported that there were 387,767 people receiving regular Unemployment Insurance benefits during the March survey week. This compares with 389,449 in February and 403,184 in March of last year. At the same time, new claims for Unemployment Insurance were 39,965 in March, compared with 34,593 in February and 39,330 in March of last year. Seasonally adjusted payroll detail follows:

Here are MARCH’s unemployment rates for Central Valley counties, followed by, in parentheses, the rates for February:
• Butte – 6.2 percent; (6.1 percent)
• Fresno – 9.4 percent; (8.9 percent)
• Kern – 10.1 percent; (9.3 percent)
• Kings – 10.3 percent; (9.9 percent)
• Madera – 8.9 percent; (8.2 percent)
• Merced – 11.0 percent; (10.7 percent)
• Sacramento – 4.3 percent; (4.1 percent)
• San Joaquin – 7.3 percent; (7.0 percent)
• Stanislaus — 7.5 percent; (7.2 percent)
• Tulare – 12.1 percent. (11.3 percent)
• Yolo – 5.3 percent; (5.2 percent)
• Yuba – 7.9 percent; (7.8 percent)

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