California employers slashed 16,300 jobs from payrolls in April, according to data released by the state’s Employment Development Department on Friday. It was the first month that the state posted a job loss since June 2016.
Still, unemployment fell to 4.8%, from 4.9% in March, the lowest rate since 2001. The national jobless rate last month was 4.4%.
The pace of hiring picked up again in April and the unemployment rate fell to the lowest level in nearly a decade, evidence the U.S. economy is poised for a spring rebound after a lackluster start to the year.
California's unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent in March.
The state Employment Development Department said Friday the rate was down from 5 percent in February and 5.6 percent in March 2016.
The department says the state's employers added 19,300 nonfarm payroll jobs last month.
Employers slowed their pace of hiring in March, but beneath the surface the labor market continued to improve and tighten, leaving the Federal Reserve on course to keep raising short-term interest rates and workers with prospects of better paydays. Nonfarm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 98,000 in March from the previous month, the Labor Department said Friday, a slowdown from the prior two months. Still, the unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point to 4.5% as the number of employed workers grew more quickly than the labor force, pushing the measure to the lowest level since May 2007.
The researchers said they were surprised to see very little employment increase in other occupations to offset the job losses in manufacturing. That increase could still happen, they said, but for now there are large numbers of people out of work, with no clear path forward — especially blue-collar men without college degrees.