A. Gary Anderson
Graduate School of Management

California Worker Shortage Constraining Job Growth

California continues adding jobs at a healthy pace but hiring remains constrained by lack of workers
By Victoria Pike Bond |
26,800 Jobs Added

California’s labor market expanded steadily in November, with total nonfarm employment in the state growing by 26,800 positions, according to an analysis released jointly by Beacon Economics and the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. October’s gains were also revised up to 59,800 in the latest numbers, a 3,100 increase from the preliminary estimate of 56,700.

California has added jobs at a healthy pace in 2021 and 2022. As of November 2022, the state had recovered all of the jobs that were lost in March and April 2020, and there are now 60,700 more people employed in California compared to February 2020. Over this time, total nonfarm employment in the state has grown 0.3% compared to a 0.7% increase nationally. The state increased payrolls by 4.0% from November 2021 to November 2022, outpacing the 3.3% increase nationally during the same period.

60,700 More People Employed

California’s unemployment rate grew to 4.1% in the latest numbers, a 0.1 percentage-point increase over the previous month. While this is near historic lows, the unemployment rate remains elevated relative to the nation’s 3.7% rate. California continues to struggle with its labor supply, which fell by 21,000 in November. Since February 2020, the state’s labor force has contracted by 282,000 workers, a 1.4% decline. This lack of workers is making it difficult for some employers to hire the additional staff they typically bring on during the holiday season.

4.1% Unemployment Rate

“While the state’s payrolls are now in expansion mode, many communities continue to struggle to find workers, especially in coastal areas of the state,” said Taner Osman, Research Manager at Beacon Economics and the Center for Economic Forecasting. “The lack of affordable housing along the coast is the primary constraint holding back job expansion.”


CEFD Employment Report Nov. 2022