California unemployment rate dips slightly in May

Central Valley Business Times

July 5, 2019

  • Down one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.2 percent
  • Employers add 19,400 nonfarm payroll jobs
  • Central Valley has two counties with jobless rates less than state average

California’s unemployment dipped to 4.2 percent in May while the state’s employers added a net 19,400 nonfarm payroll jobs, according to data released Friday by the California Employment Development Department from two surveys.

California has now gained a total of 3,235,900 jobs since the Great Recession ended and the current economic expansion began in February 2010.

Highlight’s from the monthly report include:

  • California’s 19,400 job gain accounted for 26 percent of the nation’s total 75,000 job gain for the month.
  • The state’s 111-month employment expansion is the second-longest on record behind the 113-month long expansion of the 1960s.
  • California has gained 3,235,900 jobs since the current economic expansion began in February 2010, averaging over 29,000 jobs gained per month over the period – far more than the 8-9,000 jobs needed each month to accommodate people entering the labor force.
  • Seven of California’s 11 major industry sectors gained jobs in May. The biggest increase of 12,800 jobs came in construction, reflecting an increase in home building. That’s followed by a gain of 4,500 jobs in leisure and hospitality on the strength of the state’s tourism industry, and a 1,800 job gain in government.

In related data that figures into the state’s unemployment rate, there were 321,372 people receiving unemployment insurance benefits during the survey week in May compared to 364,431 in April and 337,974 people in May 2018. Concurrently, 38,396 people filed new claims in May which was a month-over decrease of 5,635.

Here are MAY’s unemployment rates for Central Valley counties, followed by, in parentheses, the rates for April:

  • Fresno – 6.4 percent; (7.7 percent)
  • Kern – 7.2 percent; (8.4 percent)
  • Kings – 6.7 percent; (8.3 percent)
  • Madera – 6.3 percent; (7.6 percent)
  • Merced – 7.3 percent; (9.0 percent)
  • San Joaquin – 5.1 percent; (6.0 percent)
  • Stanislaus – 5.6 percent; (6.4 percent)
  • Tulare – 8.1 percent; (9.8 percent)

For all practical purposes, no one is jobless for more than a nanosecond in San Mateo County. Its jobless rate in May fell to a microscopic 1.7 percent from 1.9 percent in April, the EDD says.

At the other end is Imperial County, with 16.4 percent of its adult workforce jobless. That’s up from 16.2 percent in April.

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