IMPORTANT NOTE: The employment data for the month of October 2020 is taken from the survey week including Oct. 12. Data for the month of November is scheduled for release on Dec. 18.
November 21, 2020 - SACRAMENTO – California’s unemployment rate dropped 1.8 percent to 9.3 percent in October as the state’s employers added 145,500 jobs1, according to data released on Friday by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) from two surveys. It is the third-highest single-month job gain in the current data series that dates back to 1990. This comes after September’s upward-revised gain of 102,400 jobs (+6,400 jobs from previously reported gain). California has now regained nearly 44 percent of the 2,615,800 nonfarm jobs that were lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March and April.
California’s Labor Market, by the Numbers...
- At 9.3 percent2, October marks the first month since March 2020 that California’s unemployment rate was below 10 percent and the fifth straight month it fell below the all-time unemployment rate high of 16.4 percent set in April and May of this year.
- Nine of California’s 11 industry sectors gained jobs last month. For the second consecutive month, Leisure & Hospitality had the largest job gain with an increase of 66,000 jobs thanks to large growth in Accommodation and Food Services as well as Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation.
- Professional & Business Services posted an increase of 35,800 jobs and was boosted by gains in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services.
- Government posted the largest industry job loss with a decline of 41,100 in October due to losses in Federal Government employment largely stemming from staffing reductions in census workers.
1. The nonfarm payroll job numbers come from a federal survey of 80,000 California businesses.
2. The unemployment rate comes from a separate federal survey of 5,100 California households.
Data Trends about Jobs in the Economy
Total Nonfarm Payroll Jobs
This information comes from a monthly survey of approximately 80,000 California businesses that estimates jobs in the economy – seasonally adjusted.
- Month-over – Total nonfarm jobs in California’s 11 major industries totaled 16,134,200 in October – a net gain of 145,500 jobs from September. This followed an upward-revision of 6,400 jobs for a revised gain of 102,400 jobs in September.
- Year-over – Total nonfarm jobs decreased by 1,369,400 (a 7.8 percent decrease) from October 2019 to October 2020 compared to the U.S. annual loss of 9,180,000 jobs (a 6.1 percent decrease).
Total Farm jobs – The number of jobs in the agriculture industry increased by 5,600 from September 2020 to 340,000 jobs in October. The agricultural industry has lost 87,300 farm jobs since October 2019.
Data Trends about Workers in the Economy
Employment and Unemployment in California
This information is based on a monthly federal survey of 5,100 California households which focuses on workers in the economy.
- Employed – The number of Californians with jobs in October was 17,491,400, an increase of 888,600 jobs from September’s total of 16,602,800, but down 1,240,000 from the employment total in October of last year.
- Unemployed – The number of unemployed Californians was 1,786,500 in October, a decrease of 279,300 over the month, but up by 1,032,500 compared with October of last year.
Unemployment Insurance Claims (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
The following data is from a sample week that includes the 19th of each month: In related data that figures into the state’s unemployment rate, there were 1,650,946 people certifying for Unemployment Insurance benefits during the October 2020 sample week. That compares to 2,801,538 people in September 2020 and 260,709 people in October 2019. Concurrently, 152,641 initial claims were processed in the October 2020 sample week, which was a month-over decrease of 73,631 claims from September 2020, but a year-over increase of 113,240 claims from October 2019.
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