Highlights for policy makers:
- March 2023 Jobs Report
- 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
- Unemployment Rates by Region
- Employment Recovery by Region
- Counties with Double-Digit Unemployment
- MSAs with the Worst Unemployment Rates
March 2023 Jobs Report
The Center for Jobs and the Economy has released our initial analysis of the January Employment Report from the California Employment Development Department. For additional information and data about the California economy visit www.centerforjobs.org/ca.
Recovery Progress : CA vs. US
The March data generally showed a slowing in the numbers. Nonfarm jobs (seasonally adjusted) showed a gain of only 8,700 in March, with another sharp downward revision to the previous month’s number to 21,800. Putting aside December’s loss, the March jobs number was the lowest gain since September 2021. Employment had a somewhat stronger gain of 14,700, but the total still remains 228,000 (1.3%) below the pre-pandemic peak in February 2020. Even with the March uptick, 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, all three wage groupings remain above the pre-pandemic peak. Higher wage industries continue to show the strongest recovery, and have begun to recover from the dips that began to show in the first quarter. Lower wage industries again show the weakest recovery, but the totals are more affected by seasonal factors than the other two groupings.
California Labor Force
Recovery Progress: CA Employment vs. Other States
Compared to the pre-pandemic peak in February 2020, California’s weak employment recovery again placed it 41st highest among the states and DC.
Recovery Progress: CA Nonfarm Jobs vs. Other States
On a comparative basis, California’s 8,700 jobs gain was 8th highest among the states and DC, which were led by Texas (28,600), New York (18,100), and Massachusetts (16,300). Compared to the pre-pandemic peak in February 2020, California (295,200) again was third, behind Texas (867,900) and Florida (624,000) but still ahead of North Carolina (265,700). On a comparative basis, California’s recovery rate remained 21st highest among the states. Sixteen states and DC remained below their pre-pandemic peaks.
Unemployment Rates by Region
Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) compared to pre-pandemic February 2020 are shown below.
Figure Source: California Employment Development Department
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), while most other regions showed some improvement in the March numbers.
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 February edged down from 12 to 11. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim MSA dipped to #305 in a tie with 6 other MSAs in other states.
May Unemp. Rate
Rank (out of 389)
|El Centro MSA||16.0%||389|
|Yuba City MSA||7.2%||381|
|Santa Cruz-Watsonville MSA||5.7%||372|