05/09/2021

Reports » Job Reports

October 2015

Highlights for policy makers:

Unemployment Rate Declines to 5.8%; Total Employment Rises 15,400

The Labor Force data for October 2015 (seasonally adjusted; California preliminary) is shown below, along with the change from the prior month:

Seasonally Adjusted California US
Oct 2015 Change from Sept 2015 Oct 2015 Change from Sept 2015
Unemployment Rate 5.8% -0.1 5.0% -0.1
Labor Force 18,993,600 -0.1% 157,028,000 -0.2%
Participation Rate 62.2% -0.1 62.4% 0.0
Employment 17,898,800 0.1% 149,120,000 0.2%
Unemployment 1,094,700 -2.4% 7,908,000 -0.1%
Source: California Employment Development Department; US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The related not seasonally adjusted numbers (California preliminary), with the change from October 2014:

Not Seasonally Adjusted California US
Oct 2015 Change from Oct 2014 Oct 2015 Change from Oct 2014
Unemployment Rate 5.7% -1.3 4.8% -0.7
Labor Force 19,017,200 0.4% 157,313,000 0.4%
Participation Rate 62.2% -0.4 62.5% -0.5
Employment 17,936,900 1.8% 149,716,000 1.2%
Unemployment 1,080,400 -18.4% 7,597,000 -12.5%
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 grew by 15,400 from September, while the number of unemployed dropped by 26,500.  California’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined from 5.9% in September to 5.8% in October.  The unadjusted rate decreased from 7.0% in October 2014 to 5.7% in October 2015. 

Total US employment saw a seasonally adjusted increase of 320,000, while the number of unemployed declined slightly by 7,000.

California’s improved unemployment rate in the seasonally adjusted series continues to benefit from a drop in the labor force, a net decrease of 11,000 from the prior month.

California’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 16.0% higher than the national rate.  California had the 11th highest unemployment rate among the states (including DC).  

State Employment Growth Rankings

Change in Employment, October 2014 – October 2015
Rank Number of Employed Percentage Change Population Adjusted (employment growth per 1,000 civilian noninstitutional population)
1 CA 381,218 MS 6.3% MS 31.2
2 NY 192,158 ID 3.8% ID 22.9
3 NC 124,146 SC 3.2% NV 18.6
4 TN 88,798 TN 3.2% RI 18.1
5 IN 71,193 NV 3.2% OK 18.0
6 MS 70,945 OK 3.1% SC 17.5
7 MI 70,895 AR 3.0% TN 17.3
8 SC 66,132 RI 3.0% DC 17.1
9 MD 65,551 NC 2.8% AR 16.4
10 IL 63,381 DE 2.8% DE 16.4
11 PA 60,213 DC 2.6% NC 16.1
12 AZ 54,205 IN 2.3% UT 14.0
13 OK 53,318 MD 2.2% MD 14.0
14 WA 50,772 CA 2.2% IN 13.9
15 GA 46,733 NY 2.1% MT 12.9
16 NV 41,216 UT 2.1% CA 12.6
17 AR 37,549 MT 2.1% NY 12.2
18 NJ 33,324 AZ 1.9% HI 10.9
19 UT 29,540 HI 1.8% AZ 10.4
20 ID 28,308 MI 1.6% WA 9.2
US 1,860,000 US 1.3% US 7.4
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Between October 2014 and October 2015, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows the total number of employed in California increased by 381,218 (seasonally adjusted), or 20.5% of the total net employment gains in this period for the US.  Measured by percentage change in employment over the year, California declined from 13th to 14th highest.  Adjusted for population, California dropped from 14th to 16th.

Labor Force Participation Rate Remains at 62.1%–Another New Low

California’s participation rate (seasonally adjusted) declined another 0.1% to 62.1%.  The comparable US rate remained steady at 62.4%.

California’s seasonally adjusted labor force participation rate continues to drop below the previous lows recorded in 1976. This latest decline trend since February 2013 has been a key factor in the improvement in the state’s unemployment rate, as persons have left the labor force and are no longer counted among the unemployed. As indicated in previous months’ reports, the continuing decline in labor force participation is a structural change producing comparatively fewer income earners per household. As some households thereby face lower total income, the ability to afford housing is reduced, and the relative incidence of cost-of-living adjusted poverty is increased. Continuing declines in the number of income earners relative to the economy further has long term implications to the stability of public revenues and demand on public services.

Nonfarm Jobs Increase 41,200

EDD reported that between September and October 2015, seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 41,200.  The September job gains were revised upwards to 21,100 from the preliminary estimate of 8,200.    

Looking at the not seasonally adjusted numbers, the change in nonfarm payroll jobs from September 2015 saw the largest increases in Government (66,300) and Educational Services (22,300) as schools completed staffing up for the academic year, Retail Trade (17,800), Professional, Technical & Scientific Services (16,000), and Health Care & Social Assistance (11,200).  Biggest declines were in Farm (-15,900), Manufacturing (-13,400), and Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (-4,100).  

Not Seasonally Adjusted Payroll Jobs Sep 2015 Oct 2015 Change Oct 2015 – Sep 2015 Change Oct 2015 – Oct 2014
Total Farm 473,400 457,500 -15,900 7,400
Mining & Logging 29,500­ 29,500 0 -2,400
Construction 746,000 751,000 5,000 50,900
Manufacturing 1,288,300 1,274,900 -13,400 -3,200
Wholesale Trade 741,000 744,900 3,900 19,300
Retail Trade 1,664,200 1,682,000 17,800 34,100
Transportation, Warehousing & Utilities 548,900 551,900 3,000 17,000
Information 479,100 478,400 -700 13,700
Finance & Insurance 519,400 520,300 900 200
Real Estate & Rental & Leasing 275,000 274,400 -600 7,100
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services 1,265,200 1,281,200 16,000 74,300
Management of Companies & Enterprises 231,600 232,900 1,300 7,600
Administrative & Support & Waste Services 1,094,200 1,103,400 9,200 47,700
Educational Services 354,000 376,300 22,300 3,200
Health Care & Social Assistance 2,139,200 2,150,400 11,200 69,500
Individual & Family Services 587,600 588,700 1,100 9,300
Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation 288,200 284,100 -4,100 9,400
Accommodation & Food Service 1,559,000 1,567,500 8,500 73,000
Other Services 550,600 553,300 2,700 7,000
Government 2,417,200 2,483,500 66,300 35,400
Total Nonfarm 16,190,600 16,339,900 149,300 463,800
Total Wage & Salary 16,664,000 16,797,400 133,400 471,200
Source: California Employment Development Department

By total number of new jobs, California had the highest increase in seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs among the states from October 2014 to October 2015, at 463,000 or 16.5% of the US net increase.  By percentage growth in jobs, California remained at 6th highest, and by population adjusted jobs growth, went from 8th to 5th highest.

Change in Nonfarm Jobs (seasonally adjusted), October 2014 – October 2015
Rank Number of Jobs Percentage Change Population Adjusted (job growth per 1,000 civilian noninstitutional population)
1 CA 463,000 ID 3.8% UT 22.0
2 FL 239,900 UT 3.5% ID 20.1
3 TX 203,900 NV 3.4% NV 18.6
4 NY 164,000 FL 3.0% WA 16.5
5 GA 97,100 WA 3.0% CA 15.1
6 WA 92,800 CA 2.9% SC 14.9
7 NC 91,000 SC 2.9% FL 14.7
8 MA 80,600 OR 2.7% MA 14.6
9 MI 79,600 MA 2.4% OR 14.4
10 OH 77,400 AZ 2.3% DC 14.1
US 2,814,000 US 2.0% US 11.2
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Six Industries Remain Below 2007 Pre-Recession Job Levels

Source: California Employment Development Department, Wage & Salary Jobs (not seasonally adjusted), wages are running 4 quarter average from QCEW wage data

Comparing the number of jobs by industry in October 2015 (not seasonally adjusted), 6 industries remain below the 2007 pre-recession levels.  Net job growth continues to be dominated by two higher wage and the two lowest wage industries.

Three Counties in Double-Digit Unemployment, One-Quarter are 5% or Less

Six California MSAs in Nation’s 10 Worst Unemployment Rates

In the BLS ranking of the nation’s 387 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) by October 2015 unemployment rate, 6 California MSAs rank in the bottom 10, and 10 California MSAs were in the bottom 20.  

US Rank MSA Unemployment Rate, Sep 2015
377 Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ MSA 8.0%
377 Rocky Mount, NC MSA 8.0%
379 Fresno, CA MSA 8.1%
379 Hanford-Corcoran, CA MSA 8.1%
379 Vineland-Bridgeton, NJ MSA 8.1%
382 Merced, CA MSA 8.2%
383 Bakersfield, CA MSA 8.4%
383 Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ MSA 8.4%
385 Visalia-Porterville, CA MSA 9.9%
386 El Centro, CA MSA 21.6%
387 Yuma, AZ MSA 26.0%
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The highest ranked California MSA—Napa MSA—tied with 8 other MSAs nationally at rank 63 with an unemployment rate of 3.6%.

Two-Tier Economy Persists

Unemployment rates (all data is not seasonally adjusted) continue to vary widely across the state, ranging from 4.1% in the Bay Area to more than double at 9.0% in the Central Valley.  

Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate (%) October 2015
California 5.7
Bay Area 4.1
Orange County 4.3
Central Coast 5.4
Sacramento Region 5.5
San Diego/Imperial 5.8
Los Angeles 5.8
Central Sierra 6.2
Inland Empire 6.3
Upstate California 6.7
Central Valley 9.0

Ratio of Highest to Lowest Rate: 2.20

By County:

Lowest 3 Unemployment Rates
San Mateo County 3.2
Marin County 3.3
San Francisco County 3.4
Highest 3 Unemployment Rates
Colusa County 10.8
Tulare County 10.8
Imperial County 21.8

Ratio of Highest to Lowest Rate: 6.81

By Legislative District:

Lowest 10 Unemployment Rates
SD 13 (Hill – D) 3.0 AD 22 (Mullin – D) 3.0
SD 11 (Leno – D) 3.5 AD 16 (Baker – R) 3.1
SD 37 (Moorlach – R) 3.6 AD 24 (Gordon – D) 3.1
SD 39 (Block – D) 4.1 AD 28 (Low – D) 3.3
SD 15 (Beall – D) 4.1 AD 19 (Ting – D) 3.5
SD 36 (Bates – R) 4.1 AD 17 (Chiu – D) 3.5
SD 07 (Glazer – D) 4.3 AD 77 (Maienschein – R) 3.5
SD 10 (Wieckowski – D) 4.4 AD 74 (Harper – R) 3.6
SD 02 (McGuire – D) 4.4 AD 73 (Brough – R) 3.6
SD 26 (Allen – D) 4.5 AD 68 (Wagner – R) 3.6
Highest 10 Unemployment Rates
SD 21 (Runner – R) 6.8 AD 34 (Grove – R) 7.3
SD 33 (Lara – D) 6.9 AD 36 (Lackey – R) 7.6
SD 24 (de León – D) 6.9 AD 23 (Patterson – R) 8.0
SD 35 (Hall – D) 7.0 AD 13 (Eggman – D) 8.6
SD 08 (Berryhill – R) 7.8 AD 64 (Gibson – D) 8.6
SD 05 (Galgiani – D) 8.0 AD 21 (Gray – D) 9.7
SD 16 (Fuller – R) 8.0 AD 26 (Mathis – R) 10.5
SD 12 (Cannella – R) 8.4 AD 32 (Salas – D) 10.8
SD 40 (Hueso – D) 9.5 AD 31 (Perea – D) 10.9
SD 14 (Vidak – R) 11.6 AD 56 (Garcia – D) 13.1

Ratio of Highest to Lowest Rate: Senate 3.81
Ratio of Highest to Lowest Rate: Assembly 4.42

Bay Area Continues to Dominate Employment Growth

Bay Area continues to dominate employment growth in the state, capturing 53.5% of the state’s net employment growth since the 2007 pre-recession peak (November 2007), while containing only 19.4% of the state population.  Both Inland Empire and Central Valley show employment growth shares that are larger relative to their share of the population, with Inland Empire increasing its share of net employment growth from 16.4% in September to 17.6% in October while the Central Valley’s share dropped primarily due to seasonal factors.  Los Angeles Region with 29.4% of the population, contains only 6.1% of the state’s net employment growth since the pre-recession peak.

Per Capita Personal Income Up 3.9% in 2014

US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released personal income data for 2014 covering counties and other sub-state areas, along with revisions to the data series back to 1969.  The revised data shows per capita personal income for California grew 3.9% to $49,985 in 2014, compared with 3.7% growth to $46,459 for the US average.  Total personal income in California grew 4.9% in 2014, compared to 4.4% for the US total.  

All but two counties showed per capita personal income growth in 2014, ranging from -5.9% in Colusa County to 8.8% in Sierra County.   Per capita personal income in 2014 ranged from $30,437 in Del Norte County to $98,626 in Marin County.

Per capita personal income growth by region in shown in the following graph.  All ten regions experienced per capita personal income growth in 2014, ranging from 2.9% in Sacramento Region to 4.7% in the Bay Area.  Per capita personal income ranged from $33,258 in the Inland Empire, to $69,402 in the Bay Area.  The Bay Area accounted for one-third (33.3%) of the net growth in total California personal income, followed by Los Angeles Region at 26.6%.

More importantly, rather than a two-tier economic recovery, the graph below suggests that when ranked by income levels, the state instead has evolved into three distinct areas.  While the state began the 1990s with three income groupings of lower, middle, and higher per capita incomes, the Bay Area has leapt ahead into a category by itself.  The Bay Area is now at nearly 40% higher than the state average; 5 regions are grouped at plus or minus 10% of the state average (Orange County, San Diego/Imperial, Los Angeles, Central Coast, Sacramento); while the remaining 4 lie up to one-third below.

The data revisions from 1969 in general produced lower numbers for both total and per capita personal income for most counties and regions.  The primary exceptions were the Bay Area and Los Angeles Region which saw upward adjustments in most years. 

Additional detail for the state, counties, and regions have been updated to the Center’s Economic Indicators section.  Personal income estimates for the Legislative Districts will be updated after the income factors from the American Community Survey become available next month.

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