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March 12, 2018 - SACRAMENTO – California’s employers added 35,500 nonfarm payroll jobs in January, while the state’s unemployment rate fell to 4.4 percent – a record low in a data series dating back to the beginning of 1976 – according to data released today by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) from two surveys. California has also now gained a total of 2,851,800 jobs since the economic expansion began in February 2010.

The U.S. unemployment rate was unchanged in January at 4.1 percent, while the nation’s employers added 200,000 nonfarm payroll jobs.

In January 2017, the state’s unemployment rate was 5.2 percent. The unemployment rate is derived from a federal survey of 5,100 California households.

Nonfarm payroll jobs in California totaled 17,038,400 in January, according to a survey of businesses that is larger and less variable statistically. The survey of 71,000 California businesses measures jobs in the economy. The year-over change, January 2017 to January 2018, shows an increase of 400,100 jobs (up 2.4 percent).

EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT IN CALIFORNIA

The federal household survey, done with a smaller sample than the survey of employers, shows an increase in the number of employed Californians over the month and the year. It estimates the number of Californians holding jobs in January was 18,537,000, an increase of 17,000 from December, and up 342,000 from the employment total in January of last year.

The number of unemployed Californians was 851,000 in January – down by 15,000 over the month, and down by 152,000 compared with January of last year

PAYROLL EMPLOYMENT DETAIL (SEASONALLY ADJUSTED)

EDD’s payroll employment report (wage and salary jobs) in the nonfarm industries of California totaled 17,038,400 in January, a net gain of 35,500 jobs from December. This followed a revised gain of 35,000 jobs in December (a downward revision of 17,700 jobs from the original 52,700 job gain estimate).

Month-over Job Gains

Eight of California’s eleven industry sectors added a total of 44,300 jobs in January. Construction posted the largest jobs increase with a gain of 11,100 jobs, followed by trade, transportation & utilities, up 10,800 and educational and health services, up 10,700. Other industry sectors adding jobs over the month were leisure & hospitality (6,400), manufacturing (2,100), other services (1,100), government (1,100) and financial activities (1,000). Mining and logging remained unchanged.

Month-over Job Losses

Two industry sectors reported job declines over the month, down a total of 8,800 jobs. Professional and business services posted the largest decrease over the month, down 7,300 jobs, followed by information, down 1,500 jobs.

Year-over Job Gains

In a year-over-year comparison (January 2017 to January 2018), nonfarm payroll employment in California increased by 400,100 jobs (a 2.4 percent increase).

California’s eleven industry sectors added a total of 400,100 jobs over the year. The largest job gains were in educational and health services, up 95,700 jobs (a 3.7 percent increase), construction, up 75,500 jobs (a 9.8 percent increase), and leisure & hospitality, up 58,400 jobs (a 3.0 percent increase). Other sectors adding jobs over the year were trade, transportation and utilities, professional and business services, government, other services, information, financial activities, manufacturing and mining and logging.

Year-over Job Losses

In the month of January, none of California’s eleven industry sectors lost jobs.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE CLAIMS (NOT SEASONALLY ADJUSTED)

In related data, the EDD reported that there were 342,480 people receiving regular Unemployment Insurance benefits during the January survey week. This compares with 351,959 in December and 386,875 in January of last year. At the same time, new claims for Unemployment Insurance were 52,028 in January, compared with 45,447 in December and 62,201 in January of last year.

Note: This release incorporates revised historical labor force numbers and industry employment data. Each year our labor force and employment data are updated to reflect additional data inputs and estimation techniques. These data are produced in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, based on the same methodology used by all states.


california january 2018 unemployment rate graphic
Source: EDD