California Workforce Expands In Latest Numbers

But Labor Supply Will Continue Constraining Job Growth: March Job Gains Revised Upwards
By Victoria Pike Bond |
41,400 Jobs Added

California’s labor market continued to expand at a steady pace in April, with total nonfarm employment in the state growing by 41,400 positions over the month, according to an analysis by the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting & Development released jointly with Beacon Economics.

March’s gains were also revised up to 74,400 in the latest numbers, a 14,200 increase from the preliminary estimate of 60,200.

91.3% Total Jobs Recovered

While California added jobs at a healthy pace throughout 2021 and has done the same so far in 2022, as of April, the state has recovered just 91.3% of the jobs that were lost in March and April of 2020, the onset of the pandemic. There are now 239,900 fewer people employed in California compared to February 2020. Total nonfarm employment in the state has contracted 1.4% since that time compared to a 0.8% drop nationally. With a larger portion of its workforce still to be recovered, California increased payrolls by 5.6% from April 2021 to April 2022, well above the 4.6% increase nationally over the same period.

“Labor supply remains the biggest constraint to job growth in the state,” said Taner Osman, Research Manager at the Center for Economic Forecasting & Development and Beacon Economics. “And as employers seek to ramp up employment during the seasonally strong summer months, worker scarcity will continue to place upward pressure on wages in the state.”

4.6% Unemployment Rate

California’s unemployment rate fell to 4.6% in April, a 0.2 percentage-point decline from the previous month. The decline was driven by an increase in household employment (+150,000). Still, the state’s unemployment rate remains elevated relative to the 3.6% rate in the nation overall. While growing by 111,800 in April, California is continuing to struggle with its labor supply. Since February 2020, the state’s labor force has decreased by 299,600 workers, a 1.5% decline.



Latest Data


UCR CA Seasonally Adjusted Employment by Industry

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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.