01/31/2023

Reports » Job Reports

May 2017 Job Report

 Highlights for policy makers:

 

Unemployment Rate Continues Dropping to 4.7%; Total Employment Little Changed at 3,600

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

Seasonally Adjusted California US
May 2017 Change from Apr 2017 May 2017 Change from Apr 2017
Unemployment Rate 4.7 -0.1 4.3 -0.1
Labor Force 19,156,000 -0.1% 159,784,000 -0.3%
Participation Rate 62.0 -0.1 62.7 -0.2
Employment 18,258,200 0.0% 152,923,000 -0.2%
Unemployment 897,800 -2.9% 6,861,000 -2.8%
Source: California Employment Development Department; US Bureau of Labor Statistics

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

Not Seasonally Adjusted California US
May 2017 Change from May 2016 May 2017 Change from May 2016
Unemployment Rate 4.2 -0.7 4.1 -0.4
Labor Force 19,061,300 0.2% 159,979,000 0.7%
Participation Rate 61.7 -0.4 62.8 0.1
Employment 18,255,700 1.0% 153,407,000 1.2%
Unemployment 805,600 -14.4% 6,572,000 -8.8%
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 rose marginally by 3,600 from April, while the number of unemployed dropped by 26,000. The labor force dropped by 23,000.

California’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continued dropping to 4.7%, matching the previous lows (since 1976) in November and December 2000. California tied with Nevada for the 14th highest unemployment rate among the states. The unadjusted rate dropped from 4.9% in May 2016 to 4.2%.

Total US employment saw a seasonally adjusted decrease of 233,000 from April, while the number of unemployed dropped by 195,000. The national unemployment rate continued easing 0.1 point to 4.3%. The national labor force numbers declined by 429,000.

Labor Force Participation Rate at Lowest Level Since 1976

California’s participation rate (seasonally adjusted) in May declined to 62.0%, while the US rate dropped 0.2 point to 62.7%. Improvement in the unemployment rate at both the California and national levels came from these contractions in the labor force numbers.

The seasonally adjusted California participation rate in May was at its lowest level since 1976. The unadjusted rate was at its second lowest level since 1976.

State Employment Growth Rankings—California Drops to 3rd Place Behind Florida and Texas

Change in Employment, May 2016 – May 2017
Rank Number of Employed Percentage Change Population Adjusted
(employment growth per 1,000 civilian
noninstitutional population)
1 FL 409,600 KY 4.8% UT 30.3
2 TX 254,800 UT 4.6% KY 26.3
3 CA 250,000 FL 4.4% CO 25.1
4 NY 189,800 OR 4.0% FL 24.7
5 GA 156,000 CO 3.9% OR 24.1
6 MI 108,800 AZ 3.5% GA 19.8
7 CO 108,200 GA 3.4% AZ 19.8
8 MA 106,600 MA 3.1% MA 19.3
9 AZ 105,900 MS 2.9% DC 16.5
10 NC 97,300 WA 2.7% WA 16.4
11 WA 93,500 ME 2.7% ME 16.3
12 VA 93,000 HI 2.5% WI 15.8
13 KY 90,800 DC 2.5% MS 15.5
14 OR 78,900 AL 2.5% HI 15.3
15 OH 76,500 NV 2.4% CT 14.7
16 WI 72,000 WI 2.4% MD 14.4
17 TN 70,700 MI 2.4% VA 14.2
18 MD 68,000 TN 2.4% NV 14.1
19 UT 66,400 SC 2.4% ND 13.9
20 PA 65,900 CT 2.4% MI 13.8
21 NJ 58,100 VA 2.3% TN 13.6
22 IN 52,400 MD 2.2% SC 13.3
23 SC 51,600 NC 2.1% AL 13.2
24 AL 50,300 NY 2.1% NC 12.4
25 CT 42,300 TX 2.0% TX 12.2
26 MN 39,900 ND 2.0% NY 12.0
27 MS 35,500 RI 1.9% RI 11.8
28 NV 32,400 AK 1.7% AK 10.5
29 IL 31,900 ID 1.7% ID 10.3
30 AR 19,000 IN 1.7% IN 10.2
31 ME 17,800 AR 1.5% MN 9.3
32 OK 16,800 OH 1.4% OH 8.4
33 HI 16,700 CA 1.4% AR 8.2
34 ID 13,100 MN 1.4% NJ 8.2
35 RI 10,100 NJ 1.4% CA 8.2
US 1,865,000  US 1.2%  US 7.4
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Seasonally Adjusted

Between May 2016 and May 2017, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows the total number of employed in California increased by 250,000 (seasonally adjusted), or 13.4% of the total net employment gains in this period for the US. California dropped to 3rd place behind Florida (which has a civilian working age population only 55% as large as California’s) at 409,600 and Texas (68% as large) at 254,800. Measured by percentage change in employment over the year, California dropped to 33rd highest. Adjusted for population, California dropped to 35th.

Nonfarm Jobs Up 17,600

EDD reported that between April and May 2017, seasonally adjusted nonfarm wage and salary jobs were up 17,600. April’s losses were revised up to 17,600 from the previously reported loss of 22,800.

Looking at the not seasonally adjusted nonfarm numbers, hiring saw increases in all but five industries over the year. The change in total payroll jobs from May 2016 saw the largest increases in Government (49,800) as tax and fee revenues have continued to expand, Construction (41,600), and Food Services (31,200). Declines were in Manufacturing (-7,800), Retail Trade (-2,000), and Mining & Logging (-1,800).

Not Seasonally Adjusted Payroll Jobs May 2017 April 2017 Change May 2017 – April 2017 Change May 2017 – May 2016
Total Farm 484,300 434,200 50,100 7,700
Mining and Logging 22,700 22,500 200 -1,800
Construction 810,300 800,100 10,200 41,600
Manufacturing 1,296,000 1,291,500 4,500 -7,800
Wholesale Trade 736,100 729,700 6,400 14,200
Retail Trade 1,658,500 1,660,800 -2,300 -2,000
Utilities 58,300 58,400 -100 -800
Transportation & Warehousing 529,200 526,000 3,200 8,700
Information 528,200 521,300 6,900 -500
Finance & Insurance 546,700 545,000 1,700 3,000
Real Estate & Rental & Leasing 280,500 280,000 500 3,100
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services 1,225,100 1,234,700 -9,600 16,200
Management of Companies & Enterprises 227,000 227,200 -200 2,200
Administrative & Support & Waste Services 1,080,800 1,068,200 12,600 4,800
Educational Services 376,800 379,700 -2,900 11,500
Health Care 1,481,400 1,479,600 1,800 27,600
Social Assistance 755,200 752,800 2,400 26,500
Arts, Entertainment & Recreation 308,200 303,600 4,600 4,700
Accommodation 224,900 222,800 2,100 3,600
Food Services 1,414,500 1,408,800 5,700 31,200
Other Services 577,900 573,500 4,400 21,400
Government 2,610,600 2,593,200 17,400 49,800
Total Nonfarm 16,748,900 16,679,400 69,500 257,200
Total Wage and Salary 17,233,200 17,113,600 119,600 264,900
Source: California Employment Development Department

By total number of new jobs, California continued to show the second highest increase in seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs among the states from May 2016 to May 2017, at 242,600 or 10.7% of the US net increase. Texas led jobs growth with 266,600 jobs and Florida was a close third with 228,000. By percentage growth in jobs, California dropped to 23rd highest at 1.5%, below the US average of 1.6%. By population adjusted jobs growth, California dropped to 31st highest, also below the US average.

Change in Nonfarm Jobs (seasonally adjusted), May 2016 – May 2017
Rank Number of Jobs Employment Growth (%) Population Adjusted
(job growth per 1,000 civilian
noninstitutional population)
1 TX 266,600 UT 3.3% UT 21.2
2 CA 242,600 FL 2.7% DC 20.0
3 FL 228,000 NV 2.7% NV 15.3
4 NY 149,100 ID 2.4% CO 14.4
5 GA 103,100 CO 2.4% FL 13.8
6 WA 76,200 OR 2.4% WA 13.3
7 MI 74,400 GA 2.4% ID 13.2
8 NC 69,200 WA 2.4% OR 13.2
9 CO 62,000 TX 2.2% GA 13.1
10 MA 58,300 TN 1.9% TX 12.8
11 TN 57,500 AZ 1.8% MN 11.1
12 PA 54,000 AL 1.8% TN 11.0
13 AZ 49,300 AR 1.8% MA 10.6
14 MN 47,700 MI 1.7% MO 9.9
15 MO 47,000 MO 1.7% AR 9.5
16 UT 46,600 MN 1.7% NY 9.4
17 VA 44,400 MA 1.6% MI 9.4
18 OR 43,300 NC 1.6% AL 9.4
19 NJ 43,100 SC 1.6% AZ 9.2
20 MD 43,100 MD 1.6% MD 9.1
21 IN 41,700 NY 1.6% MT 9.0
22 OH 41,100 MT 1.6% WI 8.8
23 WI 40,400 CA 1.5% NC 8.8
24 AL 35,800 RI 1.5% NH 8.7
25 NV 35,000 DC 1.4% SC 8.4
26 IL 34,700 NH 1.4% RI 8.3
27 SC 32,700 WI 1.4% ND 8.2
28 KY 26,400 KY 1.4% SD 8.2
29 AR 22,000 IN 1.4% IN 8.1
30 ID 16,800 HI 1.3% NE 8.1
31 IA 15,200 SD 1.3% CA 7.9
32 NE 11,700 NE 1.2% KY 7.6
33 DC 11,200 VA 1.1% HI 7.4
US 2,266,000 US 1.6% US 9.0
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Six Industries Below 2007 Pre-Recession Job Levels

Source: California Employment Development Department, Wage & Salary Jobs (seasonally adjusted), wages are running 4 quarter average from QCEW wage data

Comparing the number of jobs by industry in May 2017 (not seasonally adjusted), 6 industries had employment below the 2007 pre-recession levels. In the highest gain industries, Health Care and lower wage Food Services were essentially tied as the leading job gains, while lower wage Social Assistance and higher wage Professional, Scientific & Technical Services remained in 3rd and 4th place, respectively. Of the lagging industries, three—Manufacturing, Mining & Logging, and Construction—are blue collar middle class wage industries, while the higher wage Finance & Insurance also continued to lose ground.

Job Gains by Wage Level

In the recent May Budget Revision, the Governor again pointed to the increasing share of lower wage jobs as one of the prime causes of slowing state revenues growth: The level of wages has been revised downward, and cash receipts have been significantly below forecast. The following chart illustrates this trend, according to the industry wage classification used previously in other Center analyses of this issue. In the chart below, Private sector jobs are shown in the dark green bands, while Government is shown in the lighter. As indicated, over one-third of jobs growth over the past 12 months has been in the low wage industries.

Two-Tier Economy Persists

Unemployment rates (all data is not seasonally adjusted) continue to vary widely across the state, ranging from 3.1% in the Bay Area to more than twice as large at 7.6% in the Central Valley.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate (%) MAY 2017
California 4.2
Bay Area 3.1
Orange County 3.2
Los Angeles 4.0
Sacramento Region 4.1
San Diego/Imperial 4.4
Central Sierra 4.5
Inland Empire 4.5
Central Coast 4.6
Upstate California 5.5
Central Valley 7.6

By Legislative District:

Lowest 10 Unemployment Rates
CD18 (Eshoo-D) 2.4 SD13 (Hill-D) 2.3 AD16 (Baker-R) 2.2
CD12 (Pelosi-D) 2.5 SD11 (Wiener-D) 2.7 AD22 (Mullin-D) 2.2
CD52 (Peters-D) 2.6 SD37 (Moorlach-R) 2.8 AD24 (Berman-D) 2.4
CD45 (Walters-R) 2.6 SD39 (Atkins-D) 2.8 AD28 (Low-D) 2.5
CD14 (Speier-D) 2.7 SD36 (Bates-R) 2.9 AD77 (Maienschein-R) 2.6
CD17 (Khanna-D) 2.8 SD26 (Allen-D) 3.0 AD73 (Brough-R) 2.7
CD33 (Lieu-D) 2.9 SD07 (Glazer-D) 3.1 AD17 (Chiu-D) 2.7
CD49 (Issa-R) 2.9 SD15 (Beall-D) 3.1 AD78 (Gloria-D) 2.7
CD15 (Swalwell-D) 3.0 SD10 (Wieckowski-D) 3.1 AD19 (Ting-D) 2.7
CD27 (Chu-D) 3.1 SD02 (McGuire-D) 3.2 AD74 (Harper-R) 2.8
Highest 10 Unemployment Rates
CD20 (Panetta-D) 5.2 SD30 (Mitchell-D) 4.7 AD64 (Gipson-D) 5.8
CD03 (Garamendi-D) 5.2 SD21 (Wilk-R) 4.8 AD03 (Gallagher-R) 6.1
CD44 (Barragán-D) 5.6 SD35 (Bradford-D) 4.9 AD23 (Patterson-R) 6.5
CD09 (McNerney-D) 5.8 SD04 (Nielsen-R) 5.2 AD34 (Fong-R) 6.6
CD10 (Denham-R) 6.5 SD05 (Galgiani-D) 6.2 AD13 (Eggman-D) 6.7
CD22 (Nunes-R) 7.0 SD08 (Berryhill-R) 6.2 AD26 (Mathis-R) 8.4
CD23 (McCarthy-R) 7.1 SD16 (Fuller-R) 6.8 AD31 (Arambula-D) 8.6
CD16 (Costa-D) 8.6 SD12 (Cannella-R) 7.1 AD21 (Gray-D) 8.6
CD51 (Vargas-D) 9.4 SD40 (Hueso-D) 7.8 AD32 (Salas-D) 10.1
CD21 (Valadao-R) 9.4 SD14 (Vidak-R) 10.1 AD56 (Garcia-D) 10.8

Bay Area Provided 42% of Net Employment Growth Since Recession

Containing just under 20% of the state’s population, the Bay Area was responsible for 41.9% of the net growth in employment since the pre-recession peaks in 2007. Los Angeles Region provided the next largest share at 22.6%, but spread over 29.3% of the population. Inland Empire is the only other region showing employment gains above their population share.

Eight California MSAs in the 10 Worst Unemployment Rates Nationally

Of the 10 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) with the worst unemployment rates nationally, 8 are in California. Of the 20 worst, 12 are in California.

US Rank MSA April 2017 Unemployment Rate
369 Rockford, IL Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.9
369 Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.9
371 Las Cruces, NM Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.1
371 Stockton-Lodi, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.1
373 Salinas, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.2
374 Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.4
375 Brownsville-Harlingen, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.5
376 Farmington, NM Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.7
377 Modesto, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.9
378 McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area 8.0
379 Madera, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 8.5
380 Fresno, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 8.8
381 Yuba City, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 8.9
382 Ocean City, NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area 9.1
383 Bakersfield, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 9.5
384 Hanford-Corcoran, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 9.5
385 Visalia-Porterville, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 9.9
386 Merced, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 10.2
387 Yuma, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area 16.3
388 El Centro, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 19.2

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