Riding a wave of seasonal hiring and robust employment in multiple sectors, California’s unemployment rate fell to a record low 4.3 percent in December.
The state Employment Development Department said Friday that the jobless rate last month plunged to 4.3 percent, with a robust 52,700 jobs added to California payrolls. The statewide unemployment rate was 4.6 percent in November.
EDD said December’s unemployment rate was the lowest since it began keeping records in 1976.
Economic conditions may play less of a role in the scourge of recent opioid overdose deaths than the easy availability and low cost of the illicit drugs, according to a new paper.
The study by University of Virginia economist Christopher Ruhm disputes the idea that areas in economic decline experience a higher rate of “deaths of despair,” and argues “the drug environment rather than economy is the key driver in rising drug fatalities.”
The pace of hiring slowed in December, but the U.S. unemployment rate held at a 17-year low, suggesting it is becoming more difficult for employers to find workers.
Nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 148,000 in December, the Labor Department said. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate remained at 4.1%, matching the lowest level since December 2000 for the third straight month. Hourly wages improved modestly and rose 2.5% from a year earlier. Economists expected 180,000 new jobs and a 4.1% unemployment rate.
Black unemployment fell to 6.8 percent in December, the lowest ever recorded by the U.S. Labor Department since it began tracking the black unemployment rate in 1972.
Economists say it's a sign the recovery from the Great Recession is finally starting to help a wider swath of the U.S. population.
Though the labor market has grown robustly nationwide this year, progress has been uneven across blue states and red states. An increasing number of people in red states have stopped looking for work, while a larger share of people in blue states are actively in the workforce.