03/21/2019

Reports » Job Reports

March 2018 Jobs Report

Highlights for policy makers:

Unemployment Rate Level at 4.3%; Total Employment Gains 2,400

The Labor Force data for March 2018 (seasonally adjusted; California preliminary) is shown below, along with the change from the prior month:

Seasonally Adjusted California US
Mar 2018 Change from Feb 2018 Mar 2018 Change from Feb 2018
Unemployment Rate 4.3% 0.0 4.1% 0.0
Labor Force 19,379,600 -0.1% 161,763,000 -0.1%
Participation Rate 62.2% -0.1 62.9% -0.1
Employment 18,552,200 0.0% 155,178,000 0.0%
Unemployment 827,500 -1.8% 6,585,000 -1.8%
Source: California Employment Development Department; US Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

The related not seasonally adjusted numbers (California preliminary), with the change from March 2017:

Not Seasonally Adjusted California US
Mar 2018 Change from Mar 2017 Mar 2018 Change from Mar 2017
Unemployment Rate 4.2% -1.0% 4.1% -0.5
Labor Force 19,343,000 0.3% 161,548,000 1.0%
Participation Rate 62.1% -0.3% 62.8% -0.1%
Employment 18,526,000 1.3% 154,877,000 1.5%
Unemployment 817,000 -18.1% 6,671,000 -8.4%
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 2,400 from February, while the number of unemployed dropped by 15,600. The labor force dipped by 13,200.

California’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained stable at 4.3%, repeating the lowest level in the current data series that began in 1976. California tied with Delaware for the 21st highest unemployment rate among the states. The unadjusted rate dropped from 5.2% in March 2017 to 4.2% as the state’s labor force grew less than a third as fast as the other states.

Total US employment saw a seasonally adjusted loss of 37,000 from February, while the number of unemployed dropped by 121,000. The national unemployment rate was steady at 4.1% for the sixth month in a row. The national labor force numbers dipped by 158,000.

Labor Force Participation Rate Dips to 62.2%

California’s participation rate (seasonally adjusted) in March dipped 0.1 to 62.2%, while the US rate dipped by the same amount to 62.9%. The California rate is improved from the revised series low from 2015, but continues to match levels previously seen in 1976.

Considered by age, the prime working age groups (age 25-54 and 55-64) remain somewhat below their previous highs since 2000. The most significant declines have been among youth and young adults. These trends, in particular, have long-term implications for income distributions in the state, as most studies indicate that work skills developed through early employment are correlated with long-term earnings potential. In contrast to the younger groups, persons 65 and older show a higher labor force participation rate compared to the prior low at the beginning of this period.

Labor Force Participation Rate by Age

Prior Max Mar 2018
Total 67.2% 62.2%
16-19 46.8% 27.4%
20-24 76.4% 66.0%
25-54 82.1% 80.0%
55-64 66.3% 63.5%
Prior Min
65+ 12.1% 19.5%
Source: Current Population Survey microdata; EDD
Note: All entries from 12-month moving average

State Employment Growth Rankings

Change in Employment, March 2017 – March 2018
Rank Number of Employed Percentage Change Population Adjusted
(employment growth per 1,000 civilian
noninstitutional population)
1 CA 290,000 ID 3.2% ID 19.8
2 TX 284,700 CO 2.9% CO 18.9
3 FL 175,100 GA 2.6% UT 16.8
4 GA 125,600 NV 2.6% GA 15.8
5 CO 82,700 AZ 2.6% NV 15.3
6 AZ 80,500 UT 2.5% AZ 14.8
7 NC 69,700 LA 2.3% TX 13.5
8 TN 69,700 TN 2.3% TN 13.3
9 WA 67,500 TX 2.2% LA 12.9
10 VA 50,900 OR 2.1% OR 12.8
11 MN 48,300 WA 1.9% WA 11.6
12 LA 46,400 FL 1.8% MN 11.1
13 OR 42,500 NM 1.7% FL 10.4
14 MA 41,000 OK 1.7% OK 9.7
15 WI 39,700 MN 1.6% CA 9.4
16 OH 39,300 CA 1.6% NM 9.2
17 UT 37,600 NC 1.5% DC 9.2
18 NV 35,600 DC 1.4% NC 8.7
19 IL 31,600 WI 1.3% WI 8.7
20 OK 28,900 KY 1.3% VA 7.7
21 ID 25,600 VA 1.2% MA 7.4
22 KY 24,600 MA 1.2% KY 7.1
23 MI 23,400 DE 1.1% VT 6.6
24 IN 18,800 VT 1.0% DE 6.6
25 SC 18,800 SD 1.0% SD 6.5
US 2,114,000 US 1.4% US 8.3
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Seasonally Adjusted

 

Between March 2017 and March 2018, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows the total number of employed in California increased by 290,000 (seasonally adjusted), or 13.7% of the total net employment gains in this period for the US. Based on the total numbers, California remained in 1st place ahead of Texas (which has a civilian working-age population only 69% as large as California’s) at a close 284,700 and Florida (55% as large) at 175,100. Measured by percentage change in employment over the year, California dropped to 16th highest. Adjusted for working-age population, California dropped to 15th.

Nonfarm Jobs Down 7,200

EDD reported that between February and March 2018, seasonally adjusted nonfarm wage and salary jobs dipped 7,200. February’s gains were revised to 1,200 from the previously reported 14,000.

In the not seasonally adjusted nonfarm numbers, hiring saw increases in all but 3 industries over the year. The change in total payroll jobs from March 2017 saw the largest increases in Construction (52,200), Social Assistance (42,600), and Government (32,700). Declines were in Other Services (-3,900), Utilities (-1,000), and Management of Companies & Enterprises (-900).

Not Seasonally Adjusted Payroll Jobs Mar 2018 Feb 2018 Change Mar 2018 – Feb 2018 Change Mar 2018 – Mar 2017
Total Farm 366,500 363,300 3,200 7,200
Mining and Logging 21,200 21,200 0 600
Construction 832,800 837,100 -4,300 52,200
Manufacturing 1,315,100 1,309,900 5,200 14,300
Wholesale Trade 727,300 725,900 1,400 12,300
Retail Trade 1,673,700 1,681,800 -8,100 13,700
Utilities 58,000 57,900 100 -1,000
Transportation & Warehousing 577,300 575,500 1,800 25,300
Information 530,000 531,000 -1,000 9,400
Finance & Insurance 547,300 548,600 -1,300 1,400
Real Estate & Rental & Leasing 284,400 285,300 -900 6,300
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services 1,250,000 1,247,500 2,500 32,400
Management of Companies & Enterprises 231,400 232,300 -900 -900
Administrative & Support & Waste Services 1,106,700 1,102,800 3,900 18,500
Educational Services 387,300 383,800 3,500 15,500
Health Care 1,523,700 1,519,800 3,900 29,900
Social Assistance 805,000 800,800 4,200 42,600
Arts, Entertainment & Recreation 305,500 303,600 1,900 7,300
Accommodation 227,500 227,400 100 4,700
Food Services 1,432,900 1,422,500 10,400 31,900
Other Services 556,100 558,200 -2,100 -3,900
Government 2,617,100 2,595,200 21,900 32,700
Total Nonfarm 17,010,300 16,968,100 42,200 345,200
Total Wage and Salary 17,376,800 17,331,400 45,400 352,400
Source: California Employment Development Department

 

At 321,000, California showed the highest increase in seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs among the states from March 2017 to March 2018, ahead of Texas at 294,100. By percentage growth in jobs, California dipped to 10th highest at 1.9%, above the US average of 1.5%. By population adjusted jobs growth, California remained at 9th highest.

Change in Nonfarm Jobs (seasonally adjusted), March 2017 – March 2018
Rank Number of Jobs Employment Growth (%) Population Adjusted
(job growth per 1,000 civilian
noninstitutional population)
1 CA 321,000 UT 3.3% UT 21.5
2 TX 294,100 ID 3.3% ID 17.9
3 FL 173,100 NV 2.9% NV 16.8
4 NY 113,300 WA 2.8% WA 15.8
5 WA 91,600 TX 2.4% CO 14.2
6 PA 84,000 CO 2.4% TX 13.9
7 NC 73,300 AZ 2.3% OR 12.4
8 NJ67,100 OR 2.2% AZ 11.7
9 GA 65,200 FL 2.0% CA 10.4
10 AZ 63,300 CA 1.9% FL 10.3
11 CO 62,200 SC 1.7% SD 9.6
12 MI 61,300 OK 1.7% NJ 9.4
13 OH 54,400 NC 1.7% OK 9.3
14 TN 49,000 TN 1.6% TN 9.3
15 UT 48,000 NJ 1.6% NC 9.2
16 MA 41,800 GA 1.5% SC 9.1
17 OR 41,000 SD 1.5% PA 8.2
18 VA 39,500 PA 1.4% GA 8.2
19 NV 39,300 MI 1.4% WY 7.8
20 IL 39,200 RI 1.3% NH 7.7
21 SC 35,600 NH 1.3% MI 7.7
22 WI 29,700 HI 1.3% MA 7.5
23 MO 28,500 MS 1.3% HI 7.5
24 OK 27,900 WY 1.2% RI 7.4
25 IN 27,500 NY 1.2% NY 7.1
US 2,261,000 US 1.5% US 8.9
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Four 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 March 2018 (not seasonally adjusted), four industries had employment below the 2007 pre-recession levels. The highest gain industries were led by Health Care (with a relatively higher mix of lower and higher wage occupations), lower wage Food Services and 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 has overall improved but still remains 61,200 below the 2007 level, and 133,500 below the previous high in 2006.

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, over half (59%) of net jobs growth since the recession has been in the lower wage industries. For the 12 months ending March 2018, lower wage industries accounted for about a quarter (24%) of new jobs, while middle class-blue collar jobs produced about another third (30%) as a result of improvements in Construction levels.

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

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

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 three times as large at 8.7% in the Central Valley.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate (%) March 2018
California 4.2
Bay Area 2.8
Orange County 2.8
San Diego/Imperial 3.7
Sacramento 3.9
Inland Empire 4.1
Los Angeles 4.1
Central Sierra 4.7
Upstate California 6.3
Central Coast 6.6
Central Valley 8.7

By Legislative District:

Lowest 10 Unemployment Rates
CD18 (Eshoo-D) 2.2 SD13 (Hill-D) 2.0 AD16 (Baker-R) 1.9
CD12 (Pelosi-D) 2.2 SD11 (Wiener-D) 2.4 AD22 (Mullin-D) 2.0
CD52 (Peters-D) 2.4 SD39 (Atkins-D) 2.5 AD24 (Berman-D) 2.1
CD45 (Walters-R) 2.4 SD36 (Bates-R) 2.5 AD28 (Low-D) 2.2
CD17 (Khanna-D) 2.4 SD37 (Moorlach-R) 2.6 AD17 (Chiu-D) 2.4
CD14 (Speier-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) 2.5 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 SD38 (Anderson-R) 3.1 AD25 (Chu-D) 2.5
Highest 10 Unemployment Rates
CD03 (Garamendi-D) 5.7 SD30 (Mitchell-D) 4.9 AD03 (Gallagher-R) 6.9
CD44 (Barragán-D) 5.7 SD17 (Monning-D) 5.0 AD30 (Caballero-D) 7.2
CD09 (McNerney-D) 6.1 SD35 (Bradford-D) 5.1 AD13 (Eggman-D) 7.3
CD10 (Denham-R) 6.6 SD04 (Nielsen-R) 5.4 AD23 (Patterson-R) 7.5
CD51 (Vargas-D) 7.5 SD05 (Galgiani-D) 6.5 AD34 (Fong-R) 7.6
CD23 (McCarthy-R) 8.1 SD40 (Hueso-D) 6.5 AD56 (Garcia-D) 8.5
CD20 (Panetta-D) 8.1 SD08 (Berryhill-R) 6.9 AD21 (Gray-D) 9.6
CD22 (Nunes-R) 8.6 SD16 (Fuller-R) 7.9 AD31 (Arambula-D) 10.3
CD16 (Costa-D) 10.0 SD12 (Cannella-R) 9.2 AD26 (Mathis-R) 10.7
CD21 (Valadao-R) 11.1 SD14 (Vidak-R) 12.0 AD32 (Salas-D) 11.6

Bay Area Provided 39% of Net Employment Growth Since Recession

Containing 19.4% of the state’s population, the Bay Area was responsible for 39.5% of the net growth in employment since the pre-recession peaks in 2007. Los Angeles Region, containing 29.2% of the population, accounted for the second largest share at 20.1%. Inland Empire is the only other region continuing to show employment gains above their population share.

Eight 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, eight are in California. Of the 20 worst, 11 are in California.

Rank Metropolitan Area February 2018 Rate
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.1 368
Stockton-Lodi, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.1 368
Anchorage, AK Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.4 371
Fairbanks, AK Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.4 371
Modesto, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.5 373
Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.6 374
Vineland-Bridgeton, NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area 8.1 375
Madera, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 8.3 376
Yakima, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area 8.5 377
Watertown-Fort Drum, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area 8.7 378
Yuba City, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 8.9 379
Fresno, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 9.1 380
Bakersfield, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 9.6 381
Hanford-Corcoran, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 9.7 382
Salinas, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 10.3 383
Merced, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 10.6 384
Visalia-Porterville, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 11.3 385
Yuma, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area 13.5 386
Ocean City, NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area 14.3 387
El Centro, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 16.0 388

 

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