02/03/2023

Reports » Job Reports

December 2017 Jobs Report

Highlights for policy makers:

 

Unemployment Rate Improves to 4.3%; Total Employment Gains 38,600

The Labor Force data for December 2017 (seasonally adjusted; California preliminary) is shown below, along with the change from the prior month:

Seasonally Adjusted California US
Dec 2017 Change from Nov 2017 Dec 2017 Change from Nov 2017
Unemployment Rate 4.3% -0.3 4.1% 0.0
Labor Force 19,386,300 0.0% 160,597,000 0.0%
Participation Rate 62.4% -0.1 62.7% 0.0
Employment 18,547,600 0.2% 154,021,000 0.1%
Unemployment 838,700 -5.2% 6,576,000 -0.6%
Source: California Employment Development Department; US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The related not seasonally adjusted numbers (California preliminary), with the change from December 2016:

Not Seasonally Adjusted California US
Dec 2017 Change from Dec 2016 Dec 2017 Change from Dec 2016
Unemployment Rate 4.2% -0.8 3.9% -0.6
Labor Force 19,286,500 1.0% 159,880,000 0.6%
Participation Rate 62.1% 0.1 62.4% 0.0
Employment 18,481,900 1.9% 153,602,000 1.2%
Unemployment 804,600 -15.9% 6,278,000 -12.4%
Source: California Employment Development Department; US Bureau of Labor Statistics

California Employment Development Department’s (EDD) latest data shows on a seasonally adjusted basis, total employment was up 38,600 from November, while the number of unemployed dropped by 46,200. The labor force essentially stayed level with a drop of 7,600.

California’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate improved to 4.3%, the lowest in the current data series that began in 1976. California had the 22nd highest unemployment rate among the states. The unadjusted rate from dropped from 5.0% in December 2016 to 4.2%.

Total US employment saw a seasonally adjusted gain of 104,000 from November, while the number of unemployed dropped by 40,000. The national unemployment rate was steady at 4.1%. The national labor force numbers rose by 64,000.

Labor Force Participation Rate Eases Down

California’s participation rate (seasonally adjusted) in December eased to 62.4%, while the US rate stayed at 62.7%.

State Employment Growth Rankings

Change in Employment, December 2016 – December 2017
Rank Number of Employed Percentage Change Population Adjusted
(employment growth per 1,000 civilian
noninstitutional population)
1 CA 382,100 CO 4.8% CO 30.9
2 FL 302,200 OR 4.2% OR 25.1
3 TX 301,500 TN 4.1% MN 24.3
4 NY 178,100 MN 3.7% TN 23.6
5 GA 162,400 UT 3.5% UT 23.2
6 CO 134,900 GA 3.4% GA 20.5
7 TN 123,500 ID 3.3% ID 20.4
8 WA 105,600 KY 3.2% WI 19.0
9 MN 105,500 FL 3.2% WA 18.3
10 OH 101,800 WA 3.0% FL 18.0
11 AZ 92,100 AZ 3.0% KY 17.8
12 WI 86,900 NV 2.9% NV 17.2
13 OR 83,100 WI 2.9% AZ 17.0
14 NC 63,500 TX 2.4% TX 14.3
15 KY 61,700 LA 2.3% LA 12.5
16 VA 57,500 AL 2.2% CA 12.4
17 UT 51,500 AR 2.1% OK 12.1
18 MD 50,600 CA 2.1% AL 11.8
19 MA 45,500 OK 2.1% AR 11.8
20 AL 45,300 NY 2.0% NY 11.2
21 LA 45,100 OH 1.9% OH 11.1
22 MI 40,200 MD 1.7% MD 10.7
23 NV 39,900 NM 1.6% DC 9.9
24 OK 36,400 ME 1.5% ME 9.4
25 SC 27,700 DC 1.5% VA 8.8
26 AR 27,400 VA 1.4% NM 8.4
27 IL 27,200 NC 1.4% MA 8.2
28 ID 26,200 RI 1.3% RI 8.2
29 KS 16,700 MA 1.3% NC 8.0
30 NM 13,500 SC 1.3% KS 7.5
31 IN 13,400 KS 1.2% SC 7.1
32 CT 10,400 DE 0.9% DE 5.3
33 ME 10,300 MI 0.9% MI 5.1
34 RI 7,000 SD 0.6% SD 4.2
35 DC 5,600 CT 0.6% CT 3.6
36 DE 4,000 VT 0.5% VT 3.3
37 NE 4,000 IL 0.4% NE 2.7
38 IA 3,200 IN 0.4% IL 2.7
39 SD 2,800 NE 0.4% IN 2.6
40 WV 2,500 WV 0.3% WV 1.7
US 1,788,000 US 1.2% US 7.0
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Seasonally Adjusted

Between December 2016 and December 2017, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows the total number of employed in California increased by 382,100 (seasonally adjusted), or 21.4% of the total net employment gains in this period for the US. Based on the total numbers, California remained in 1st place ahead of Florida (which has a civilian working age population only 55% as large as California’s) at 302,200 and Texas (69% as large) at 301,500. Measured by percentage change in employment over the year, California improved to 18th highest. Adjusted for working age population, California rose to 16th.

Nonfarm Jobs Up 52,700

EDD reported that between November and December 2017, seasonally adjusted nonfarm wage and salary jobs grew 52,700. November’s gains were revised to 53,700 from the previously reported 47,400.

In the not seasonally adjusted nonfarm numbers overall, hiring saw increases in all but 4 industries over the year. The change in total payroll jobs from December 2016 saw the largest increases in Construction (60,000), Government (46,100), and Food Services (42,900). Declines included Manufacturing (-2,800), Retail Trade (-1,400), and Mining & Logging (-800).

Not Seasonally Adjusted Payroll Jobs Dec 2017 Nov 2017 Change Dec 2017 – Nov 2017 Change Dec 2017 – Dec 2016
Total Farm 364,900 402,800 -37,900 2,800
Mining and Logging 22,300 23,100 -800 -800
Construction 834,200 839,400 -5,200 60,000
Manufacturing 1,295,600 1,294,400 1,200 -2,800
Wholesale Trade 741,400 741,700 -300 8,400
Retail Trade 1,775,500 1,767,700 7,800 -1,400
Utilities 58,100 58,200 -100 -300
Transportation & Warehousing 567,700 559,300 8,400 14,200
Information 546,600 540,800 5,800 21,700
Finance & Insurance 557,100 550,700 6,400 5,900
Real Estate & Rental & Leasing 288,300 286,900 1,400 4,700
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services 1,238,800 1,238,200 600 4,200
Management of Companies & Enterprises 233,500 231,900 1,600 5,300
Administrative & Support & Waste Services 1,114,100 1,109,800 4,300 17,200
Educational Services 384,000 389,300 -5,300 16,500
Health Care 1,508,600 1,500,100 8,500 26,700
Social Assistance 776,000 775,100 900 40,500
Arts, Entertainment & Recreation 316,500 307,900 8,600 15,000
Accommodation 224,800 225,700 -900 2,500
Food Services 1,433,800 1,428,900 4,900 42,900
Other Services 579,500 582,900 -3,400 18,200
Government 2,611,800 2,621,800 -10,000 46,100
Total Nonfarm 17,108,200 17,073,800 34,400 344,700
Total Wage and Salary 17,473,100 17,476,600 -3,500 347,500
Source: California Employment Development Department

At 342,500, California showed the highest increase in seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs among the states from December 2016 to December 2017, ahead of Texas at 306,900. By percentage growth in jobs, California rose to 9th highest at 2.1%, above the US average of 1.4%. By population adjusted jobs growth, California rose to 13th highest.

Change in Nonfarm Jobs (seasonally adjusted), December 2016 – December 2017
Rank Number of Jobs Employment Growth (%) Population Adjusted
(job growth per 1,000 civilian
noninstitutional population)
1 CA 342,500 NV 3.3% NV 18.9
2 TX 306,900 OR 2.7% UT 17.0
3 FL 213,500 UT 2.6% OR 14.9
4 NY 98,300 TX 2.5% TX 14.6
5 GA 83,200 FL 2.5% DC 14.2
6 PA 78,400 SC 2.2% FL 12.7
7 NC 75,000 WA 2.1% CO 12.2
8 WA 68,500 ID 2.1% SC 11.9
9 MA 63,000 CA 2.1% WA 11.9
10 MI 57,100 CO 2.0% IA 11.5
11 CO 53,200 GA 1.9% ID 11.4
12 OR 49,300 IA 1.8% MA 11.4
13 SC 46,500 MT 1.8% CA 11.1
14 NV 43,800 MA 1.8% GA 10.5
15 WI 40,200 AL 1.7% MT 10.0
16 OH 38,500 NC 1.7% NC 9.4
17 UT 37,900 MS 1.6% AL 8.9
18 MN 37,300 WI 1.4% WI 8.8
19 AZ 35,000 PA 1.3% MN 8.6
20 AL 34,100 MI 1.3% MS 7.8
21 MD 31,400 AZ 1.3% PA 7.7
22 VA 30,200 MN 1.3% NE 7.5
23 IL 29,600 NM 1.2% MI 7.2
24 TN 28,700 OK 1.2% RI 7.0
25 IA 28,300 RI 1.2% OK 6.8
26 IN 27,600 MD 1.1% MD 6.6
27 NJ 22,900 HI 1.1% HI 6.6
28 MO 22,800 KY 1.1% AZ 6.5
29 KY 21,200 NE 1.1% NM 6.5
30 OK 20,400 NY 1.0% NY 6.2
31 MS 17,800 DC 1.0% KY 6.1
32 ID 14,700 TN 1.0% SD 6.1
33 AR 11,300 SD 0.9% TN 5.5
US 2,055,000 US 1.4% US 8.1
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Six Industries Below 2007 Pre-Recession Job Levels

Source: California Employment Development Department, not seasonally adjusted; wages are running 4 quarter average from QCEW wage data

Comparing the number of jobs by industry in December 2017 (not seasonally adjusted), six industries had employment below the 2007 pre-recession levels. The highest gain industries were led by lower wage Food Services, Health Care (with a relatively higher mix of lower and higher wage occupations), lower wage Social Assistance, and higher wage Professional, Scientific & Technical Services. Of the lagging industries, three—Manufacturing, Mining & Logging, and Construction—are blue collar middle class wage industries, while the higher wage Finance & Insurance also remained in the minus column. Construction losses, however, have begun to contract.

Job Gains by Wage Level

The following chart illustrates the trend for total wage and salary jobs by general wage level, according to the industry wage classification used previously in other Center analyses of this issue. As indicated, about one-third of net jobs growth since the recession has been in the low wage industries, while the stronger showing for Construction shows stronger gains in this period for blue collar middle class jobs. Construction, however, was stronger primarily due to dry conditions in December 2017 compared to near normal precipitation levels in December 2007.

Source: Analysis of California Employment Development Department data, not seasonally adjusted

Two-Tier Economy Persists—Central Valley Unemployment More than Twice as High as Bay Area

While unemployment rates have improved in the interior counties as a result of seasonal employment, the level of unemployment rates (all data is not seasonally adjusted) continues to vary widely across the state, ranging from 2.8% in the Bay Area to more than twice as large at 8.1% in the Central Valley.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate (%) December 2017
California 4.2
Bay Area 2.8
Orange County 2.8
Sacramento 3.8
San Diego/Imperial 3.9
Inland Empire 4.1
Los Angeles 4.2
Central Sierra 4.4
Upstate California 5.9
Central Coast 6.5
Central Valley 8.1

By Legislative District:

Lowest 10 Unemployment Rates
CD18 (Eshoo-D) 2.2 SD13 (Hill-D) 2.0 AD22 (Mullin-D) 1.9
CD12 (Pelosi-D) 2.2 SD11 (Wiener-D) 2.4 AD16 (Baker-R) 2.0
CD52 (Peters-D) 2.4 SD39 (Atkins-D) 2.5 AD24 (Berman-D) 2.1
CD14 (Speier-D) 2.4 SD36 (Bates-R) 2.5 AD28 (Low-D) 2.2
CD45 (Walters-R) 2.5 SD37 (Moorlach-R) 2.6 AD17 (Chiu-D) 2.4
CD17 (Khanna-D) 2.5 SD10 (Wieckowski-D) 2.7 AD77 (Maienschein-R) 2.4
CD49 (Issa-R) 2.5 SD07 (Glazer-D) 2.8 AD73 (Brough-R) 2.4
CD15 (Swalwell-D) 2.6 SD15 (Beall-D) 2.8 AD78 (Gloria-D) 2.4
CD48 (Rohrabacher-R) 2.7 SD34 (Nguyen-R) 3.1 AD19 (Ting-D) 2.5
CD02 (Huffman-D) 3.0 SD26 (Allen-D) 3.2 AD25 (Chu-D) 2.5
Highest 10 Unemployment Rates
CD03 (Garamendi-D) 5.4 SD30 (Mitchell-D) 4.9 AD03 (Gallagher-R) 6.4
CD44 (Barragán-D) 5.8 SD17 (Monning-D) 5.0 AD34 (Fong-R) 6.7
CD09 (McNerney-D) 6.0 SD04 (Nielsen-R) 5.1 AD30 (Caballero-D) 6.8
CD10 (Denham-R) 6.3 SD35 (Bradford-D) 5.2 AD23 (Patterson-R) 7.0
CD23 (McCarthy-R) 7.3 SD05 (Galgiani-D) 6.4 AD13 (Eggman-D) 7.2
CD20 (Panetta-D) 7.7 SD08 (Berryhill-R) 6.4 AD21 (Gray-D) 8.9
CD22 (Nunes-R) 7.9 SD40 (Hueso-D) 7.1 AD56 (Garcia-D) 9.5
CD51 (Vargas-D) 8.3 SD16 (Fuller-R) 7.2 AD31 (Arambula-D) 9.6
CD16 (Costa-D) 9.2 SD12 (Cannella-R) 8.6 AD26 (Mathis-R) 9.8
CD21 (Valadao-R) 10.1 SD14 (Vidak-R) 11.0 AD32 (Salas-D) 10.4

Bay Area Provided 40% of Net Employment Growth Since Recession

Containing 19.4% of the state’s population, the Bay Area was responsible for 40.1% of the net growth in employment since the pre-recession peaks in 2007. Inland Empire provided the next largest share at 19.5%, but Los Angeles Region, containing 29.2% of the population, accounted for third at 19.0%. Inland Empire is the only other region continuing to show employment gains above their population share.

Seven California MSAs in the 10 Worst Unemployment Rates Nationally

According to BLS data, of the 10 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) with the worst unemployment rates nationally, 7 are in California. Of the 20 worst, 9 are in California.

Rank Metropolitan Area November 2017 Rate
367 Stockton-Lodi, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.2
370 Anchorage, AK Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.3
370 Fairbanks, AK Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.3
370 Las Cruces, NM Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.3
373 Farmington, NM Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.4
374 Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.5
374 Rocky Mount, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.5
376 Watertown-Fort Drum, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.8
377 Madera, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.0
378 Vineland-Bridgeton, NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.1
378 Yuba City, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.1
380 Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.3
381 Bakersfield, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.4
382 Hanford-Corcoran, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.5
383 Fresno, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.6
384 Merced, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.8
385 Visalia-Porterville, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 8.9
386 Ocean City, NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area 12.1
387 Yuma, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area 15.6
388 El Centro, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 19.8

Next Updates

The agencies are going through their annual revisions to the labor force and jobs series. No releases are scheduled for February, with the January data set for release on March 2 (California) and March 12 (other states), and the February data on March 23 (California and other states). Revised labor force and industry employment and hours and earnings data will also be issued for prior years.

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