05/09/2021

Reports » Job Reports

August 2015

Highlights for policy makers:

Unemployment Rate Declines to 6.1%; Total Employment Rises 12,200

The Labor Force data for August 2015 (seasonally adjusted; California preliminary) is shown below, along with the change from the prior month:

Seasonally Adjusted California US
Aug 2015 Change from Jul 2015 Aug 2015 Change from Jul 2015
Unemployment Rate 6.1 -0.1 5.1 -0.2
Labor Force 19,035,200 0.0% 157,065,000 0.0%
Participation Rate 62.3 -0.1 62.6 0.0
Employment 17,872,100 0.1% 149,036,000 0.1%
Unemployment 1,163,100 -1.4% 8,029,000 -2.9%
Source: California Employment Development Department; US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The related not seasonally adjusted numbers (California preliminary), with the change from August 2014

Not Seasonally Adjusted California US
Aug 2015 Change from Aug 2014 Aug 2015 Change from Aug 2014
Unemployment Rate 6.1 -1.5 5.2 -1.1
Labor Force 19,071,900 1.1% 157,390,000 0.6%
Participation Rate 62.5 0.0 62.7 -0.3
Employment 17,905,300 2.7% 149,228,000 1.8%
Unemployment 1,166,600 -18.7% 8,162,000 -16.6%
Source: California Employment Development Department; US Bureau of Labor Statistics

California Employment Development Department’s (EDD) latest release shows on a seasonally adjusted basis, total employment grew by 12,200 from July, while the number of unemployed dropped by 16,600. California’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate notched down from 6.2% in July to 6.1% in August. The unadjusted rate decreased from 7.6% in August 2014 to 6.1% in August 2015.

Total US employment saw a seasonally adjusted increase of 196,000, while the number of unemployed dropped 237,000.

As on the national level, California’s labor force remained little changed, with improvement to the unemployment rate caused by the unemployment numbers moving into the employed column as well as leaving the labor force.

State Employment Growth Rankings

California’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 19.6% higher than the national rate. Tied with Oregon, California had the 9th highest unemployment rate among the states (including DC).

Change in Employment, August 2014 – August 2015
Rank Number of Employed Percentage Change Population Adjusted
(employment growth per 1,000 civilian
noninstitutional population)
1 CA 425,229 MS 4.9% MS 24.2
2 NY 159,057 AR 3.6% ID 20.4
3 NC 121,361 ID 3.4% DC 19.7
4 TN 93,512 OK 3.4% OK 19.4
5 WA 67,348 TN 3.4% AR 19.0
6 IN 64,902 NV 3.1% RI 18.9
7 MD 64,895 RI 3.1% NV 18.3
8 MI 63,891 DC 3.1% TN 18.3
9 AZ 61,840 DE 3.0% DE 17.1
10 SC 58,987 SC 2.9% UT 17.0
11 MA 57,085 NC 2.8% NC 15.8
12 OK 57,085 UT 2.6% SC 15.6
13 PA 56,463 CA 2.4% CA 14.1
14 MS 55,082 MD 2.2% MD 13.8
15 GA 50,991 MT 2.2% MT 13.3
16 IL 44,254 AZ 2.1% IN 12.7
17 AR 43,471 IN 2.1% CT 12.6
18 NV 40,606 WA 2.1% WA 12.2
19 NJ 36,549 CT 2.1% AZ 11.9
20 CT 36,264 NY 1.8% MD 10.6
  US 2,585,000 US 1.8% US 10.3
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Between August 2014 and August 2015, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows the total number of employed in California increased by 425,229 (seasonally adjusted), or 16.4% of the total net employment gains in this period for the US. Measured by percentage change in employment over the year, California was 13th highest. Adjusted for population, California was also 13th. While California remains above the US average in all three measures for overall employment growth, the last two measures which take into account the relative size of the states indicates that California continues to lie in the second quartile.

Labor Force Participation Rate Remains at 62.3%

California’s participation rate (seasonally adjusted) declined 0.1% to 62.3%. The comparable US rate remained steady at 62.6%.

California’s seasonally adjusted labor force participation rate has now hovered between 62.3% and 62.5% for 25 months, or an overall average rate of 62.4%. In the pre-recession period, California last experienced a rate this low in 1976. While employment continues to grow in absolute terms, the economy still has not reached the point of inducing re-entry back into the labor force for a significant share of the working-age population. By reducing the number of incomes per household, this situation continues to be major factor in the state’s continuing high levels of poverty and declining housing affordability.

Nonfarm Jobs Increase 36,300

EDD reported that between July and August 2015, seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 36,300. The July job gains were revised downwards marginally from the preliminary estimate of 84,600 to 84,400.

Looking at the not seasonally adjusted numbers, the change in nonfarm payroll jobs from July 2015 saw the largest increases in Government (36,500) as schools began reopening for the academic year, Individual & Family Services (11,200) as a result of continued expansion of the State’s In-Home Supportive Services program, Accommodation & Food Service (9,900), and Construction (7,900). Biggest declines were in Educational Services (-3,200), Other Services (-3,100), Professional, Technical & Scientific Services (-2,600), and Administrative & Support & Waste Services (-1,500).

Not Seasonally Adjusted Payroll Jobs Jul 2015 Aug 2015 Change Aug 2015 – Jul 2015 Change Aug 2015 – Aug 2014
Total Farm 468,200 469,200 1,000 -900
Mining & Logging 29,900 29,800 -100 -2,500
Construction 735,100 743,000 7,900 44,600
Manufacturing 1,286,400 1,290,100 3,700 -1,200
Wholesale Trade 739,100 740,000 900 21,400
Retail Trade 1,659,800 1,663,800 4,000 31,900
Transportation, Warehousing & Utilities 542,800 545,900 3,100 19,000
Information 472,800 473,800 1,000 12,000
Finance & Insurance 522,300 522,700 400 2,300
Real Estate & Rental & Leasing 279,000 278,900 -100 9,500
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services 1,278,100 1,275,500 -2,600 81,200
Management of Companies & Enterprises 231,200 232,400 1,200 7,300
Administrative & Support & Waste Services 1,077,000 1,075,000 -1,500 36,700
Educational Services 336,700 333,500 -3,200 6,400
Health Care & Social Assistance 2,115,600 2,126,800 11,200 56,000
  Individual & Family Services 574,200 580,100 5,900 2,100
Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation 302,700 303,200 500 15,900
Accommodation & Food Service 1,562,600 1,572,500 9,900 61,800
Other Services 552,200 549,100 -3,100 4,400
Government 2,299,600 2,336,100 36,500 30,800
Total Nonfarm 16,022,900 16,092,600 69,700 437,500
Total Wage & Salary 16,491,100 16,561,800 70,700 436,600
Source: California Employment Development Department

By total number of new jobs, California had the highest increase in seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs among the states from August 2014 to August 2015, at 470,000 or 16.1% of the US total. By percentage growth in jobs, California was the 7th highest, and by population adjusted jobs growth, 8th highest.

Change in Nonfarm Jobs (seasonally adjusted), August 2014 – August 2015
Rank Number of Jobs Percentage Change Population Adjusted (job growth per 1,000
civilian noninstitutional population)
1 CA 470,000 UT 4.0% DC 25.4
2 FL 261,500 OR 3.5% UT 24.9
3 TX 217,700 FL 3.3% OR 18.6
4 NY 130,500 NV 3.3% NV 17.9
5 NC 107,200 WA 3.2% WA 17.8
6 WA 99,500 SC 3.0% MA 16.4
7 MI 91,300 CA 3.0% FL 16.1
8 MA 90,200 ID 2.9% CA 15.4
9 GA 83,200 MA 2.6% ID 15.4
10 IN 75,600 NC 2.6% SC 15.3
  US 2,919,000 US 2.1% US 11.6
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

6 Industries Remain Below 2007 Pre-Recession Job Levels

Source: California Employment Development Department, Wage & Salary Jobs (not seasonally adjusted), Average Annual Wage (Q3 2014)

Comparing the number of jobs by industry in August 2015 (seasonally adjusted), 6 industries remain below the 2007 pre-recession levels. Note that from the not seasonally adjusted data, over half of the Health Care & Social Assistance net jobs shown in the chart are attributable to Individual & Family Services, the industry dominated by In-Home Supportive Services and paying only $14,700 average annual wages. Also note that the Government job numbers are influenced by the seasonal employment factors in education.

3 Counties Remain in Double-Digit Unemployment, 12 are 5% or Less

9 California MSAs in Nation’s 10 Worst Unemployment Rates

In the BLS ranking of the nation’s 387 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) by August 2015 unemployment rate, 9 California MSAs rank in the bottom 10.

US Rank MSA Unemployment Rate, Aug 2015
378 Modesto, CA MSA 9.4%
379 Yuba City, CA MSA 9.5%
380 Fresno, CA MSA 9.6%
381 Hanford-Corcoran, CA MSA 9.8%
382 Madera, CA MSA 9.9%
383 Bakersfield, CA MSA 10.0%
384 Merced, CA MSA 10.8%
385 Visalia-Porterville, CA MSA 11.7%
386 El Centro, CA MSA 24.2%
387 Yuma, AZ MSA 26.6%
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The highest ranked California MSA—San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara MSA—tied with 9 other MSAs nationally at rank 66 with an unemployment rate of 4.3%.

Two-Tier Economy Persists

Unemployment rates (all data is not seasonally adjusted) continue to vary widely across the state, ranging from 4.5% in the Bay Area to more than double at 9.8 in the Central Valley.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate (%) June 2015
California 6.1
Bay Area 4.3
Orange County 4.5
Sacramento Region 5.7
Central Coast 5.7
San Diego/Imperial 6.0
Central Sierra 6.1
Inland Empire 6.8
Los Angeles 6.8
Upstate California 7.1
Central Valley 9.1

Ratio of Highest to Lowest Rate: 2.14

By County:

Lowest 3 Unemployment Rates
San Mateo County 3.3
Marin County 3.5
San Francisco County 3.6
Highest 3 Unemployment Rates
Colusa County 10.2
Tulare County 11.0
Imperial County 23.7
Highest 3 Unemployment Rates Lowest 3 Unemployment Rates
San Mateo County 3.3 Colusa County 10.2
Marin County 3.5 Tulare County 11.0
San Francisco County 3.6 Imperial County 23.7

Ratio of Highest to Lowest Rate: 7.18

By Legislative District:

Lowest 10 Unemployment Rates
SD 13 (Hill – D) 3.2 AD 22 (Mullin – D) 3.1
SD 11 (Leno – D) 3.6 AD 24 (Gordon – D) 3.3
SD 37 (Moorlach – R) 3.8 AD 16 (Baker – R) 3.3
SD 39 (Block – D) 4.2 AD 28 (Low – D) 3.4
SD 15 (Beall – D) 4.2 AD 19 (Ting – D) 3.6
SD 36 (Bates – R) 4.3 AD 17 (Chiu – D) 3.6
SD 07 (Glazer – D) 4.5 AD 77 (Maienschein – R) 3.7
SD 10 (Wieckowski – D) 4.6 AD 74 (Harper – R) 3.8
SD 02 (McGuire – D) 4.6 AD 73 (Brough – R) 3.8
SD 38 (Anderson – R) 5.0 AD 68 (Wagner – R) 3.8
Highest 10 Unemployment Rates
SD 18 (Hertzberg – D) 7.8 AD 53 (Santiago – D) 8.4
SD 30 (Mitchell – D) 7.9 AD 59 (Jones-Sawyer – D) 8.4
SD 05 (Galgiani – D) 8.1 AD 36 (Lackey – R) 8.7
SD 33 (Lara – D) 8.1 AD 13 (Eggman – D) 8.7
SD 24 (de León – D) 8.1 AD 21 (Gray – D) 10.0
SD 35 (Hall – D) 8.2 AD 64 (Gipson – D) 10.1
SD 16 (Fuller – R) 8.3 AD 31 (Perea – D) 10.4
SD 12 (Cannella – R) 8.5 AD 26 (Mathis – R) 10.7
SD 40 (Hueso – D) 10.0 AD 32 (Salas – D) 11.0
SD 14 (Vidak – R) 11.6 AD 56 (Garcia – D) 14.2

Ratio of Highest to Lowest Rate: Senate 3.68
Ratio of Highest to Lowest Rate: Assembly 4.63

Note: All data sources, methodologies, and historical data series available at CenterforJobs.org.