In addition to companies, an increasing number of workers are choosing to take jobs in other states as the costs of living grow in California. Using the Job-to-Job Flows data from US Census Bureau, California saw 258,000 workers taking jobs here while moving from other states in 2021, while the reverse flow saw 347,000 leaving, for a net loss of 89,000 workers. This loss was the highest since the beginning of the full year data series in 2001. Based on the first quarter results just released, 2022 is on track for another net loss of around 80,000.
The data does not cover all worker movement, but includes those moving from one job to another (defined as workers with no or only a small break between jobs). Other workers such as students getting their first job, persons re-entering the labor force, workers with a larger gap between jobs, and likely many teleworkers are generally not included in this series. In addition, data is incomplete in recent years for a few smaller states, but likely without a substantial effect on the final totals.
In 2021, the highest net loss (17.7% of net workers) was for persons taking jobs in middle-wage Retail Trade, followed by higher wage Professional, Scientific, & Technical Services (12.6%) and mixed wage Health Care & Social Assistance (11.6%). While the total net loss in 2022 was just under a half percent of total wage and salary jobs, the net outflow represents yet another and growing source of labor shortages, in this case experienced and trained workers.
There has been a net loss of Latino workers each year, although the share of Latinos has varied widely. In the latest full year for 2021, Latinos were 26.2% of the total net loss, rising to 30.5% in the first quarter of 2022.