Headwinds Ease for CA Job Growth as COVID Cases Decline

California's latest job recovery accounts for over 40% of all U.S. job gains

According to the September 2021 Beacon Employment Report | CA, California’s labor market continued to expand at a rapid pace in August, with total nonfarm employment in the state growing by 104,300 positions. During August, California accounted for 44% of all jobs added nationally during the month.

 
104,300 Jobs Added In August

California’s labor market continued to expand at a rapid pace in August, with total nonfarm employment in the state growing by 104,300 positions, according to an analysis released jointly by the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting & Development and Beacon Economics. During August, California accounted for 44% of all jobs added nationally during the month.

“Two major headwinds for the state’s economy have been eased: the declining spread of COVID-19 cases and the re-opening of schools,” said Taner Osman, Research Manager at the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting & Development and Beacon Economics. “This paves the way for strong job gains through the end of this year.”
 

5.3 million Fewer People Employed

Throughout 2021, California (+4.3%) has added jobs at a faster rate than the national economy (3.3%). This trend will continue as the state’s labor market has underperformed the national labor market since the onset of the pandemic. As of August 2021, there were 1.03 million fewer workers employed in California compared to February 2020; total nonfarm employment in the state contracted 5.8% over this time. Nationally, over the same period, the labor market has shrunk by 3.5%, or around 5.3 million jobs.
 

7.5% Unemployment Rate

California’s unemployment rate edged down to 7.5% in August, compared to 7.6% in July. California’s unemployment rate still remains elevated relative to the 5.4% rate in the United States overall. The state’s labor force also expanded by 55,300 workers during the month, although there are still 450,200 fewer workers in the labor force in the state compared to pre-pandemic levels, a contraction of 2.3%.

 

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The Beacon Employment Report | California is a unique analysis of California’s employment numbers and trends. Each month, they link their 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.