The Center for Jobs and the Economy has released our initial analysis of the May Employment Report from the California Employment Development Department. For additional information and data about the California economy visit www.centerforjobs.org/ca.
Highlights for policy makers:
- Recovery Progress: CA vs. US
- Recovery Progress: CA Jobs by Wage Level
- California Labor Force
- Recovery Progress: CA Employment vs. Other States
- Nonfarm Jobs
- Recovery Progress: CA Nonfarm Jobs vs. Other States
- JOB OPENINGS
- Nonfarm Jobs by Region
- Unemployment Rates by Region
- Employment Recovery by Region
- Counties with Double-Digit Unemployment
- MSAs with the Worst Unemployment Rates
Recovery Progress: CA vs. US
The May data again was positive but showed slower gains than in April. Nonfarm jobs (seasonally adjusted) rose 47,300 in May, somewhat below the revised 69,900 for April but 22% higher than the average in the preceding 12 months. Employment also showed a gain, but moderated substantially from the prior two months with an increase of only 9,900. Nonfarm jobs remain above the pre-pandemic high, but employment still has yet to reach this recovery level. Employment remains 193,400 (1.0%) below the pre-pandemic peak in February 2020. Even with the uptick of now the last three months, California employment has remained essentially unchanged since last June, putting pressure on the state’s ability to expand jobs going forward.
Recovery Progress: CA Jobs by Wage Level
Using the unadjusted series to provide a more detailed look at jobs by industry wage level, recovery across the three wage levels began to converge as gains in the higher wage industries dipped while lower wage and medium wage industries grew due to seasonal factors.
California Labor Force
|May 2023||Change from Apr 2023||May 2023||Change from Apr 2023|
|Not Seasonally Adjusted||California||US|
|May 2023||Change from May 2022||May 2023||Change from May 2022|
Recovery Progress: CA Employment vs. Other States
Compared to the pre-pandemic peak in February 2020, California’s continued weak employment recovery edged the state’s ranking down to 42nd highest among the states and DC.
Recovery Progress: CA Nonfarm Jobs vs. Other States
On a comparative basis, California’s 47,300 jobs gain was the second highest among the states and DC. Texas was highest at 51,000 and New York third at 30,400. Compared to the pre-pandemic peak in February 2020, California with real job gains of 415,600 again was third, behind Texas (947,400) and Florida (658,500). On a comparative basis, California’s recovery rate again ranked 21st highest among the states. Thirteen states and DC remained below their pre-pandemic peaks.
Nonfarm Jobs by Region
The change in nonfarm jobs (seasonally adjusted) from April and net growth since pre-pandemic February 2020 are shown below. The interior regions show the largest net job gains since the pre-pandemic peak, while the Bay Area and Los Angeles Regions show comparable net change. These two regions, however, led in the May 2023 jobs growth even with the continued factors affecting the tech industry in the Bay Area.
Because the data in the table is seasonally adjusted, the numbers should be considered as the total for the MSAs in each region rather than the regional number. This job series also is not available for all areas in California.
Unemployment Rates by Region
Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) compared to pre-pandemic February 2020 are shown below. As the Bay Area continues to be affected by tech industry layoffs and slower hiring, Orange County again posted the lowest unemployment rate.
|Unemployment Rate by Region|
|Source: EDD, not seasonally adjusted|
Employment Recovery by Region
Los Angeles Region continues to lag the rest of the state in recovery to the pre-pandemic peak employment levels (not seasonally adjusted).
Counties with Double-Digit Unemployment
MSAs with the Worst Unemployment Rates
The number of California MSAs among the 25 regions with the worst unemployment rates in April continued increasing from 13 to 14—more than half of the total 26 California MSAs. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim MSA dropped to #347 in a tie with 3 other MSAs including Vallejo-Fairfield MSA. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara was again the highest ranked California MSA, tied at #211 with 13 other MSAs.
|MSA||April Unemp. Rate||Rank (out of 389)|
|El Centro MSA||14.1%||389|
|Yuba City MSA||7.4%||381|
|Santa Cruz-Watsonville MSA||6.0%||376|