Job creation in California
June 18, 2012
Beacon Economics is reporting some encouraging news for Golden State shippers…especially on the job front.
Here are the detals:
• California has apparently escaped the slowing pace of job creation that hit the rest of the United States in May. The state added almost 34,000 non-farm payroll jobs from April to May, an annualized growth rate of almost 3 percent. Subtract the ongoing losses in the public sector and the numbers are even more impressive—a growth rate of close to 4 percent. On top of the current gains, April’s numbers were also revised up, turning the small losses into a modest gain.
• California’s relative prosperity can be attributed in part to the very warm winter. The national employment numbers saw an unnatural boost from December to February as a result of record high temperatures—trends not seen in California, a state that doesn’t face the same rough weather patterns that typically slow economic growth. As a result, it looked as if California was lagging. Some of the recent slowing in the nation was the reverse effect—again, not reflected in the state numbers. But in general the trend—1.6 percent growth in jobs over the course of the last year and a 1.1 percentage point drop in the unemployment rate—reflects a growing California economy. Technology, exports, and tourism have all bounced back nice, even as the housing market has started to turn the corner.
• Compared to the nation overall, California added back a staggering number of jobs from April to May. U.S. nonfarm payrolls expanded by 69,000 whereas California added back 33,900 jobs, representing nearly half of all national job growth.
• The unemployment rate in California dropped from 10.9% in April to 10.8 percent in May. Furthermore, the labor force expanded by 12,400 positions, indicating that the decrease in the unemployment rate reflects real job growth as opposed to people ending their job searches and leaving the labor force.
• On an annual basis Professional and Business employment has led the state labor market recovery, adding back 87,900 positions from May 2011 to May 2012. These gains represent nearly 40 percent of all jobs added back in California in the last year. The fastest growing sector year-over-year was again Natural Resources and Mining which grew at 4.6 percent year-over-year.
• The largest gains for total nonfarm employment in California were in the Los Angeles Metropolitan District (MD), which added 12,200 jobs from April to May. With the latest month’s jobs gains, Los Angeles has now added back the most jobs in California over the last year, 46,500 from May 2011 to May 2012. The San Francisco MD came in second for month-over-month gains, adding 4,200 positions to nonfarm payrolls. With job growth high in both Northern and Southern California, it’s clear that the broad based economic recovery is moving forward in the Golden State.
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