A building boom and an influx of new jobs have driven Sacramento’s unemployment rate to record-low territory. California’s, too.
The region’s unemployment rate dropped four-tenths of a percentage point in November to 3.7 percent, matching the lowest rate in greater Sacramento since at least 1990, the state Employment Development Department said Friday. Sacramento unemployment hit 3.7 percent twice during the dot-com boom, in May 1999 and December 2000, said EDD labor market consultant Cara Welch.
“That’s remarkable,” said economist Jeff Michael of the University of the Pacific. He said the region’s job growth has improved measurably in recent months after becoming “fairly stagnant” in the first half of 2017.
“The momentum is there to keep it going another year,” he said, although he doubts the unemployment rate can fall much further than it has.
Statewide unemployment also fell sharply in November, to 4.6 percent from 4.9 percent a month earlier. The 4.6 percent statewide rate is the lowest since 1976, according to data compiled by economist Sung Won Sohn of CSU Channel Islands. The EDD said California employers added 47,400 workers to their payrolls last month.
Although much of the job growth in November was seasonal, as employers geared up for the holidays, the new numbers also dovetail with other signs that the economy has been continuing to perk along in recent months.
Amazon.com’s distribution center opened in October, a massive facility near Sacramento International Airport that will employ 1,500 workers at full build-out. The sprawling Ice Blocks residential and commercial complex opened in midtown over the summer, further evidence of a construction boom that’s been fed in part by the surge of Bay Area transplants.