California Very Close to Recovering All Jobs Lost During Pandemic Downturn

By Victoria Pike Bond |
84,800 Jobs Added

California’s labor market continued to expand in July, with total nonfarm employment in the state growing by 84,800 positions, according to an analysis released jointly with Beacon Economics. June’s gains were revised up to 37,300 in the latest numbers, a 17,400 increase from the preliminary estimate of 19,900.

California has added jobs at a healthy pace in 2021 and 2022, but as of July 2022, there are still 2.7% fewer people employed in the state (representing 73,800 jobs) than there were prior to the pandemic. California’s recovery lags the national recovery due to labor shortages in the state.
 

2.7% Fewer People Employed

Total nonfarm employment in California has contracted 0.4% since the start of the pandemic compared to a less than 0.1% increase nationally. With a larger portion of its workforce to be recovered, the state increased payrolls by 4.4% from July 2021 to July 2022, outpacing the 4.2% increase nationally over the same period.

“California is getting very close to fully recovering all the jobs it lost due to the pandemic,” said Taner Osman, Research Manager at Beacon Economics and the Center for Economic Forecasting. “In fact, if we repeat this month’s job gains next month, we will reach that milestone.”
 

3.9% Unemployment Rate

California’s unemployment rate fell to 3.9% in July, a 0.3 percentage-point decline from the previous month. This is the lowest level on record, which dates back to 1976. Still, California’s unemployment rate remains elevated relative to the 3.5% rate in the United States overall. the state continues to struggle with very tight labor supply, which fell by 23,400 in July. Since February 2020, the state’s labor force has declined by 209,600 workers, a 1.1% decrease.

 

 

 

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