Highlights for policy makers:
- Unemployment Rate Remains the Same at 7.4%; Total Employment Declines 31,400
- Labor Force Participation Rate Declines 0.2%; At Lowest Level Since 1976
- Change in Nonfarm Jobs Dominated by Seasonal Factors
- 8 Industries Remain Below 2007 Pre-Recession Job Levels; 11 Above
- The Two-Tiered Economic Recovery Persists, 17 Counties Continue to Experience Double-digit Unemployment
Unemployment Rate Remains the Same at 7.4%; Total Employment Declines 31,400
The Labor Force data for July 2014 (seasonally adjusted; California preliminary) is shown below, along with the change from the prior month:
The related not seasonally adjusted numbers (California preliminary), with the change from July 2013:
California Employment Development Department’s (EDD) latest release shows mixed results for July 2014. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the number of unemployed dropped by 8,100 compared to June 2014. Total employment, however, declined even more, by a total of 31,400. California’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged from June at 7.4%, the lowest since Q3 2008. The not seasonally adjusted rate increased 0.3 points from June 2014 to 7.8% in July 2014, but was down 1.6 points from July 2013.
By comparison, total US employment increased 0.1% over June (seasonally adjusted increase of 329,000), while the number of unemployed increased 2.1% (seasonally adjusted increase of 197,000).
With a small decline in the US rate, California’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate now stands 19% higher than the national rate. California was tied with Tennessee for the 7th highest unemployment rate.
Between July 2013 and July 2014, BLS data shows the total number of employed increased by 275,059 (not seasonally adjusted). This increase was the 2nd highest among the states, behind Texas (310,458) and ahead of Florida (263,728).
Labor Force Participation Rate Declines 0.2%; At Lowest Level Since 1976
A contributing factor behind the stable unemployment rate in July was continued contraction of the labor force participation rate by another 0.2% (seasonally adjusted). The state’s seasonally adjusted labor force participation is now at its lowest point in the current BLS data series, which has tracked this statistic from January 1976 to present. On a not seasonally adjusted basis, rather than keeping pace with population growth, the Labor Force has essentially remained unchanged over the last year, declining by 14,000 since July 2013.
Change in Nonfarm Jobs Dominated by Seasonal Factors
EDD reported that between June and July 2014, seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 27,700.
Looking at the not seasonally adjusted numbers, the change in nonfarm payroll jobs from June 2014 was dominated by seasonal reductions in Government and Educational Services, and by a seasonal increase in Manufacturing, in particular Food Manufacturing. Overall, Total Nonfarm payroll jobs dropped 165,600 from June, and Total Wage & Salary Jobs dropped 175,000.
8 Industries Remain Below 2007 Pre-Recession Job Levels; 11 Above
Comparing the number of jobs by industry in July 2014 (seasonally adjusted), 8 industries remain below the 2007 pre-recession levels and 11 are above. As indicated in the figure above, growth has been primarily in the lower wage and higher wage industries. Middle class wage industries such as Manufacturing and Construction remain well below the 2007 levels.
The highest growth industry, Health Care & Social Assistance, includes government-paid IHSS workers under the Social Assistance component.
The Two-Tiered Economic Recovery Persists, 17 Counties Continue to Experience Double-digit Unemployment
Unemployment rates and employment (all data is not seasonally adjusted) continue to vary widely across the state, although the spread between regions continued to drop from 2.06 in June to 1.95 in July. Unemployment rates increased slightly in all regions.
17 counties to continue to see double-digit unemployment rates:
Ratio of Highest to Lowest Rate: 5.61
By Legislative District:
Ratio of Highest to Lowest Rate: Senate 2.93
Ratio of Highest to Lowest Rate: Assembly 3.74