October 23, 2021

California employers add 104,300 nonfarm jobs; unemployment rate drops to 7.5%

California employers added 104,300 nonfarm payroll jobs in August versus July’s 114,400 new hires, according to the state Employment Development Department.

August’s unemployment rate of 7.5% fell from July’s rate of 7.6%, down from a COVID-19 pandemic peak of 16% in April 2020.

In August 2021, California accounted for 44% of the U.S.’s overall employment gains of 235,000 with 104,300 nonfarm new hires.

“While the U.S. jobs report for August was disappointing, California achieved a solid gain,” said Lynn Reaser, chief economist, Fermanian Business & Economic Institute, at Point Loma Nazarene University. “Nationally, job growth equaled just 0.2% versus the state’s 0.6% expansion. It remains to be seen if the Delta variant will have a greater slowing effect on California in September’s report.”

Against that backdrop, the Golden State has regained 1,686,000 of the jobs, or 62.1%, of the 2,714,800 job layoffs in March and April 2020 because of government-related restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an EDD statement. The coronavirus job losses in part propelled the recent ballot measure to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, who had shut down big sectors of the state economy.

This August, nine of California’s 11 industry sectors added jobs. Government employment led the way with 46,900 new hires in August versus 35,900 in July. That uptick was due mainly to public schools, which six million students attend across 58 counties, beginning the 2021-22 instructional year. Next biggest in job creation was the leisure and hospitality sector, where employers added 33,100 jobs in August compared with 56,600 new hires in July. Professional and business services was next in employment gains with 14,000 jobs. The sector’s professional, scientific and technical subsector has restored all of its job losses since the pandemic, according to the EDD.

There were 17.55 million Californians employed in August, up 57,500 workers from July’s aggregate of 17.49 million and an increase of 1.19 persons compared with August 2020. There were total of 1,431,600 unemployed Californians this August, down 2,200 over the month and a drop of 869,700 versus August 2020, according to the EDD.

“California has seen job gains for seven consecutive months,” Reaser said, “but total employment is currently at about 94% of its pre-pandemic February 2020 high. The irony is that companies have jobs available if they can find the people willing to take them.”

This article was originally posted on California employers add 104,300 nonfarm jobs; unemployment rate drops to 7.5%