05/09/2021

Reports » Job Reports

December 2015

Highlights for policy makers:

Unemployment Rate Up Slightly to 5.8%; Total Employment Little Changed at -9,800

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

Seasonally Adjusted California US
Dec 2015 Change from Nov 2015 Dec 2015 Change from Nov 2015
Unemployment Rate 5.8 0.1 5.0 0.0
Labor Force 18,996,500 0.0% 157,833,000 0.3%
Participation Rate 62.0 0.0 62.6 0.1
Employment 17,900,400 -0.1% 149,929,000 0.3%
Unemployment 1,096,100 1.3% 7,904,000 -0.3%
Source: California Employment Development Department; US Bureau of Labor Statistics

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

Not Seasonally Adjusted California US
Dec 2015 Change from Dec 2014 Dec 2015 Change from Dec 2014
Unemployment Rate 5.8 -1.0 4.8 -0.6
Labor Force 18,934,500 0.4% 157,245,000 1.1%
Participation Rate 61.8 -0.4 62.4 -0.1
Employment 17,842,900 1.5% 149,703,000 1.7%
Unemployment 1,091,600 -14.6% 7,542,000 -9.5%
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 dipped by 9,800 from November, while the number of unemployed rose by 13,900.  California’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate notched up from 5.7% in November to 5.8% in December.  The unadjusted rate decreased from 6.8% in December 2014 to 5.8% in December 2015.

Total US employment saw a seasonally adjusted increase of 485,000, while the number of unemployed decreased marginally by 20,000.

California’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 16.0% higher than the national rate.  California dropped one slot to have the 10th worst unemployment rate among the states (including DC).  

Labor Force Participation Rate Unchanged

California’s seasonally adjusted labor force participation rate remained at post-1976 low of 62.0%.

Nonfarm Jobs Increase 60,400

EDD reported that between November and December 2015, seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 60,400.  The November job gains were revised upwards slightly to 7,200 from the preliminary estimate of 5,500.     

Looking at the not seasonally adjusted numbers, the change in total payroll jobs from November 2015 saw the largest increases in Retail Trade (20,700) due to the holiday season, Transportation, Warehousing & Utilities (7,500), Healthcare & Social Assistance (7,400), and Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (6,700).  Biggest declines were in Farm (-46,700), Government (-11,000), and Educational Services (-7,000).  

Not Seasonally Adjusted Payroll Jobs Nov 2015 Dec 2015 Change Dec 2015 – Nov 2015 Change Dec 2015 – Dec 2014
Total Farm 406,400 359,700 -46,700 4,300
Mining & Logging 28,500 27,800 -700 -3,000
Construction 745,500 740,900 -4,600 59,100
Manufacturing 1,264,300 1,262,300 -2,000 -2,300
Wholesale Trade 746,200 747,200 1,000 16,500
Retail Trade 1,756,600 1,777,300 20,700 45,600
Transportation, Warehousing & Utilities 553,000 560,500 7,500 11,500
Information 478,400 483,000 4,600 15,300
Finance & Insurance 518,700 523,300 4,600 -500
Real Estate & Rental & Leasing 273,900 275,000 1,100 4,800
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services 1,283,700 1,291,000 7,300 66,300
Management of Companies & Enterprises 233,400 233,300 -100 5,000
Administrative & Support & Waste Services 1,100,800 1,104,400 3,600 53,800
Educational Services 383,600 376,600 -7,000 9,400
Health Care & Social Assistance 2,154,400 2,161,800 7,400 63,200
   Individual & Family Services 584,200 588,300 4,100 7,800
Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation 284,200 290,900 6,700 14,300
Accommodation & Food Service 1,561,700 1,562,800 1,100 62,500
Other Services 552,400 551,300 -1,100 6,500
Government 2,500,200 2,489,100 -11,100 36,200
Total Nonfarm 16,419,500 16,458,500 39,000 464,200
Total Wage & Salary 16,825,900 16,818,200 -7,700 468,500
Source: California Employment Development Department

Six Industries Below 2007 Pre-Recession Job Levels

Source: California Employment Development Department, Wage & Salary Jobs (not seasonally adjusted), wages are running 4 quarter average from QCEW wage data

Comparing the number of jobs by industry in December 2015 (not seasonally adjusted), the number of industries remaining below the 2007 pre-recession levels returned to six as seasonal employment in Government and Farm dipped down.  The dominant four growth industries continue to be divided between two higher wage industries (Health Care & Social Assistance (less Individual & Family Services), Professional, Scientific & Technical Services) and the two lowest wage industries (Individual & Family Services, Accommodation & Food Service).  

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

Two-Tier Economy Persists

Unemployment rates (all data is not seasonally adjusted) continue to vary widely across the state, ranging from 4.0% in the Bay Area to more than double at 10.2% in the Central Valley.  

Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate (%) December 2015
California 5.8
Bay Area 4.0
Orange County 4.1
San Diego/Imperial 5.5
Sacramento Region 5.5
Los Angeles 5.8
Inland Empire 5.9
Central Sierra 6.5
Upstate California 8.0
Central Coast 8.1
Central Valley 10.2

Ratio of Highest to Lowest Rate: 2.58

By County:

Lowest 3 Unemployment Rates
San Mateo County 3.1
Marin County 3.2
San Francisco County 3.3
Highest 3 Unemployment Rates
Tulare County 12.2
Colusa County 19.3
Imperial County 19.6

Ratio of Highest to Lowest Rate: 6.32

By Legislative District:

Lowest 10 Unemployment Rates
SD 13 (Hill – D) 2.9 AD 22 (Mullin – D) 2.8
SD 11 (Leno – D) 3.4 AD 16 (Baker – R) 2.9
SD 37 (Moorlach – R) 3.5 AD 24 (Gordon – D) 3.0
SD 39 (Block – D) 3.8 AD 28 (Low – D) 3.1
SD 36 (Bates – R) 3.9 AD 17 (Chiu – D) 3.3
SD 15 (Beall – D) 3.9 AD 19 (Ting – D) 3.4
SD 07 (Glazer – D) 4.1 AD 77 (Maienschein – R) 3.4
SD 10 (Wieckowski – D) 4.1 AD 74 (Harper – R) 3.4
SD 26 (Allen – D) 4.3 AD 73 (Brough – R) 3.5
SD 29 (Huff – R) 4.5 AD 25 (Chu – D) 3.5
Highest 10 Unemployment Rates
SD 24 (de León – D) 6.8 AD 64 (Gipson – D) 8.4
SD 33 (Lara – D) 6.8 AD 03 (Gallagher – R) 8.7
SD 35 (Hall – D) 7.0 AD 30 (Alejo – D) 8.8
SD 04 (Nielsen – R) 7.1 AD 23 (Patterson – R) 9.2
SD 05 (Galgiani – D) 8.6 AD 13 (Eggman – D) 9.4
SD 08 (Berryhill – R) 8.7 AD 21 (Gray – D) 11.5
SD 16 (Fuller – R) 8.9 AD 31 (Vacant – D) 11.7
SD 40 (Hueso – D) 9.0 AD 26 (Mathis – R) 11.9
SD 12 (Cannella – R) 10.8 AD 56 (Garcia – D) 12.0
SD 14 (Vidak – R) 13.1 AD 32 (Salas – D) 12.5

Ratio of Highest to Lowest Rate: Senate 4.51
Ratio of Highest to Lowest Rate: Assembly 4.40

Bay Area Continues to Dominate Employment Growth

Bay Area continues to dominate employment growth in the state, capturing 58.2% of the state’s net employment growth since the 2007 pre-recession peak (December 2007), while containing only 19.4% of the state population.  Inland Empire continues to show employment growth larger relative to their share of the population.  Los Angeles Region with 29.4% of the population, contains only 5.0% of the state’s net employment growth since the pre-recession peak. 

Number of Latino and Asian Employers Increased by About One-Third from 2002

In December, the Census Bureau released the results of the 2012 Survey of Business Owners. This Survey is the only data source providing demographic information on business owners (defined as identifiable persons with a majority ownership share in a business) at the state, county, and city level.

The data is summarized below for the largest demographic groups.  In general:

  • The number of both Latino and Asian/Pacific Islander Firms with Employees increased by about 1/3 between 2002 and 2012.  The number of employees in those firms increased by about 40% for both groups.
  • The number of Black Firms with Employees decreased slightly in this period, but the number of employees in those firm also increased 40% over the 10-year period.
  • Both the number of White Firms and the number of employees in those firms decreased in this period.  Adjusting for the differing treatment of the “Other Race” responses between the 2007 and 2012 Surveys, this demographic group saw a net drop of about 20,000 firms and loss of over 800,000 employees.

Growth in the number of Firms without Employees—both the self-employed and firms with nonpaid family workers—was even more dramatic.  Reflecting the overall trend in the state of more persons seeking employment as proprietors rather than traditional wage and salary jobs, all the demographic groups shown except for Whites showed significantly larger growth rates, nearly doubling in the case of Latinos.

2002 2007 2012 Change
Firms with Employees
   Firms Latino 47,566 57,583 64,463 35.5%
White 511,009 495,658 469,114 -8.2%
Asian/PI 103,654 118,940 135,772 31.0%
Other n/a 2,151 23,468
Black 9,991 9,684 9,572 -4.2%
   Employees Latino 445,820 458,922 517,054 16.0%
White 6,102,857 5,774,665 5,134,422 -15.9%
Asian/PI 752,547 911,944 1,026,324 36.4%
Other n/a 16,377 164,953
Black 67,179 85,263 94,201 40.2%
Firms without Employees Latino 380,112 508,990 750,841 97.5%
White 1,811,112 2,123,511 1,874,325 3.5%
Asian/PI 274,950 399,203 483,544 75.9%
Other n/a 14,615 362,756
Black 102,824 128,207 167,730 63.1%
Source: Census Bureau, Survey of Business Owners

Additional information from the Survey will be provided in a summary paper to be posted on the Center’s website.

Data Revisions

Labor force (2010-2015) and employment (2014-2015) data revisions will be released by BLS and EDD over the coming months, with the final revisions currently scheduled for April 15.  The Center’s data series will be updated accordingly, although full comparability will not be re-established until the final updates are released in April.  In addition, the various legislative district estimates have been updated in accordance with the 2010-2015 American Community Survey data.  These preliminary revisions will be further updated as the BLS/EDD data is released.

Due to the BLS/EDD updates, there will be no state labor force data released in February, and consequently no Jobs Report in that month.  Instead, the January data is scheduled for March 4 and the February data on March 18.  The corresponding Jobs Reports will be released the following Monday in each case.

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