05/09/2021

Reports » Job Reports

September 2015

Highlights for policy makers:

Unemployment Rate Declines to 5.9%; Total Employment Rises 11,900

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

Seasonally Adjusted California US
Sep 2015 Change from Aug 2015 Sep 2015 Change from Aug 2015
Unemployment Rate 5.9 -0.2 5.1 0
Labor Force 19,004,200 -0.2% 156,715,000 -0.2%
Participation Rate 62.2 -0.1 62.4 -0.2
Employment 17,883,600 0.1% 148,800,000 -0.2%
Unemployment 1,120,600 -3.7% 7,915,000 -1.4%
Source: California Employment Development Department; US Bureau of Labor Statistics

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

Not Seasonally Adjusted California US
Sep 2015 Change from Sep 2014 Sep 2015 Change from Sep 2014
Unemployment Rate 5.5 -1.5 4.9 -0.8
Labor Force 18,946,000 0.5% 156,607,000 0.5%
Participation Rate 62.0 -0.4 62.3 -0.5
Employment 17,911,900 2.2% 148,980,000 1.4%
Unemployment 1,034,200 -21.8% 7,628,000 -14.9%
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 11,900 from August, while the number of unemployed dropped by 43,400. California’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined from 6.1% in August to 5.9% in September. The unadjusted rate decreased from 7.0% in September 2014 to 5.5% in September 2015.

Total US employment saw a seasonally adjusted increase of 236,000, while the number of unemployed dropped 114,000.

As on the national level, California’s improved unemployment rate stems primarily from a reduced labor force participation rate. The unadjusted numbers show a steep drop in the labor force by 125,000 from August 2015. Whether this is a statistical event or a continuation of the latest decline trend that began in February 2013, will be shown in the results from the coming months.

State Employment Growth Rankings

California’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 12.2% higher than the national rate. California had the 14th highest unemployment rate among the states (including DC).

Change in Employment, September 2014 – September 2015
Rank Number of Employed Percentage Change Population Adjusted (employment growth per 1,000 civilian noninstitutional population)
1 CA 399,259 MS 5.6% MS 27.7
2 NY 159,537 ID 3.5% ID 21.0
3 NC 118,509 AR 3.3% NV 18.3
4 TN 82,747 NV 3.1% RI 18.2
5 MI 67,987 RI 3.0% AR 17.7
6 IN 66,711 SC 3.0% OK 17.3
7 MS 62,933 OK 3.0% DC 17.3
8 MD 62,906 TN 3.0% SC 16.6
9 SC 62,548 DE 2.8% TN 16.1
10 WA 57,588 NC 2.7% DE 16.0
11 AZ 55,256 DC 2.7% UT 15.5
12 IL 51,491 UT 2.4% NC 15.4
13 OK 51,151 CA 2.3% MD 13.4
14 PA 50,661 IN 2.2% CA 13.2
15 GA 44,128 MD 2.1% IN 13.1
16 NV 40,584 MT 2.1% MT 12.7
17 AR 40,584 AZ 1.9% AZ 10.6
18 UT 32,736 NY 1.8% CT 10.6
19 MA 32,461 WA 1.8% WA 10.4
20 CT 30,292 CT 1.7% NY 10.1
US 2,193,000 US 1.5% US 8.7
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Between September 2014 and September 2015, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows the total number of employed in California increased by 399,259 (seasonally adjusted), or 18.2% of the total net employment gains in this period for the US. Measured by percentage change in employment over the year, California was 13th highest. Adjusted for population, California dropped one slot to 14th. While California remains above the US average in all three measures for overall employment growth, the last two measures which take into account the relative size of the states indicates that California continues to lie in the second quartile.

Labor Force Participation Rate Remains at 62.2%–Lowest Point Since 1976

California’s seasonally adjusted labor force participation rate is now at its lowest point since 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. More critically, the continuing decline in labor force participation is a structural change producing comparatively fewer income earners per household, and thereby lower total income for some households that in turn reduce housing affordability and increase the relative incidence of cost-of-living adjusted poverty. 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 8,200

EDD reported that between August and September 2015, seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 8,200. The August job gains were revised upwards to 42,000.

Looking at the not seasonally adjusted numbers, the change in nonfarm payroll jobs from August 2015 saw the largest increases in Government (71,600) and Educational Services (18,500) as schools continued staffing up for the academic year, Administrative & Support & Waste Services (14,800), Health Care & Social Services (7,300), and Farm (6,200). Biggest declines were in Accommodation & Food Service (-10,700), Professional, Scientific & Technical Services (-10,700), and Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (-8,200). Finance and Real Estate combined also were down -7,200. The industries were essentially split, with 9 improving and 10 declining for the month.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Payroll Jobs Aug 2015 Sep 2015 Change Sep 2015 – Aug 2015 Change Sep 2015 – Sep 2014
Total Farm 469,200 475,400 6,200 8,900
Mining & Logging 29,800 29,400 -400 -3,000
Construction 744,800 744,600 -200 47,800
Manufacturing 1,289,000 1,288,200 -800 -1,300
Wholesale Trade 741,700 740,400 -1,300 20,800
Retail Trade 1,661,500 1,663,600 2,100 37,200
Transportation, Warehousing & Utilities 547,000 548,400 1,400 17,400
Information 475,400 478,900 3,500 17,200
Finance & Insurance 521,800 517,900 -3,900 -700
Real Estate & Rental & Leasing 277,400 274,100 -3,300 6,000
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services 1,275,400 1,264,700 -10,700 76,400
Management of Companies & Enterprises 231,700 231,600 -100 6,900
Administrative & Support & Waste Services 1,081,000 1,095,800 14,800 46,500
Educational Services 334,200 352,700 18,500 2,100
Health Care & Social Assistance 2,127,900 2,135,200 7,300 59,000
  Individual & Family Services 580,500 583,600 3,100 4,200
Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation 300,300 292,100 -8,200 14,500
Accommodation & Food Service 1,570,900 1,560,200 -10,700 64,700
Other Services 549,400 549,900 500 5,000
Government 2,338,600 2,410,200 71,600 33,200
Total Nonfarm 16,097,800 16,177,900 80,100 449,700
Total Wage & Salary 16,567,000 16,653,300 86,300 458,600
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 September 2014 to September 2015, at 444,300 or 16.1% of the US net increase. By percentage growth in jobs, California was the 6th highest, and by population adjusted jobs growth, 8th highest.

Change in Nonfarm Jobs (seasonally adjusted), September 2014 – September 2015
Rank Number of Jobs Percentage Change Population Adjusted (job growth per 1,000 civilian noninstitutional population)
1 CA 444,300 UT 3.7% UT 23.2
2 FL 235,700 SC 3.2% DC 18.6
3 TX 224,800 WA 3.1% WA 16.9
4 NY 127,300 ID 3.1% SC 16.6
5 NC 107,600 FL 3.0% ID 16.0
6 WA 94,600 CA 2.8% NV 15.3
7 GA 84,200 NV 2.8% OR 15.1
8 MI 84,100 OR 2.8% CA 14.5
9 MA 67,200 NC 2.6% FL 14.5
10 IN 65,900 IN 2.2% NC 13.8
US 2,752,000 US 2.0% US 10.9
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

6 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 September 2015 (seasonally adjusted), 6 industries remain below the 2007 pre-recession levels. Note that from the not seasonally adjusted data, over half of the Health Care & Social Assistance net jobs shown in the chart are attributable to Individual & Family Services, the industry dominated by In-Home Supportive Services and paying only $14,700 average annual wages. Also note that the Government job numbers are influenced by the seasonal employment factors in education.

1 County Remains in Double-Digit Unemployment, One-third are 5% or Less

7 California MSAs in Nation’s 10 Worst Unemployment Rates

In the BLS ranking of the nation’s 387 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) by September 2015 unemployment rate, 7 California MSAs rank in the bottom 10, and 10 California MSAs were in the bottom 20.

US Rank MSA Unemployment Rate, Sep 2015
377 Vineland-Bridgeton, NJ MSA 8.7%
379 Madera, CA MSA 8.8%
379 Rocky Mount, NC MSA 8.8%
381 Fresno, CA MSA 8.9%
382 Hanford-Corcoran, CA MSA 9.1%
383 Bakersfield, CA MSA 9.3%
384 Merced, CA MSA 9.7%
385 Visalia-Porterville, CA MSA 11.0%
386 El Centro, CA MSA 23.7%
387 Yuma, AZ MSA 26.9%
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The highest ranked California MSA—San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara MSA—tied with 12 other MSAs nationally at rank 77 with an unemployment rate of 4.1%.

Two-Tier Economy Persists

Unemployment rates (all data is not seasonally adjusted) continue to vary widely across the state, ranging from 3.8% in the Bay Area to more than double at 8.2% in the Central Valley.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate (%) September 2015
California 5.5
Bay Area 3.8
Orange County 4.0
Sacramento Region 5.1
Central Coast 5.0
San Diego 5.4
Central Sierra 5.6
Los Angeles 6.0
Inland Empire 6.1
Upstate California 6.2
Central Valley 8.2

Ratio of Highest to Lowest Rate: 2.16

By County:

Lowest 3 Unemployment Rates
San Mateo County 3.0
Marin County 3.1
San Francisco County 3.2
Highest 3 Unemployment Rates
Colusa County 9.2
Tulare County 9.9
Imperial County 21.6

Ratio of Highest to Lowest Rate: 7.20

By Legislative District:

Lowest 10 Unemployment Rates
SD 13 (Hill – D) 2.8 AD 22 (Mullin – D) 2.8
SD 11 (Leno – D) 3.2 AD 16 (Baker – D) 2.9
SD 37 (Moorlach – R) 3.4 AD 24 (Gordon – R) 2.9
SD 39 (Block – D) 3.8 AD 28 (Low – D) 3.1
SD 15 (Beall – D) 3.8 AD 19 (Ting – D) 3.2
SD 36 (Bates – R) 3.9 AD 17 (Chiu – D) 3.2
SD 07 (Glazer – D) 4.0 AD 77 (Maienschein – R) 3.3
SD 02 (McGuire – D) 4.1 AD 74 (Harper – R) 3.4
SD 10 (Wieckowski – D) 4.1 AD 73 (Brough – R) 3.4
SD 29 (Huff – R) 4.5 AD 68 (Wagner – R) 3.4
Highest 10 Unemployment Rates
SD 18 (Hertzberg – D) 6.9 AD 53 (Santiago – D) 7.4
SD 30 (Mitchell – D) 7.0 AD 59 (Jones-Sawyer – D) 7.4
SD 33 (Lara – D) 7.1 AD 36 (Lackey – R) 7.7
SD 24 (de León – D) 7.2 AD 13 (Eggman – D) 7.9
SD 35 (Hall – D) 7.3 AD 21 (Gray – D) 8.7
SD 05 (Galgiani – D) 7.3 AD 64 (Gipson – D) 9.0
SD 12 (Cannella – R) 7.5 AD 31 (Perea – D) 9.5
SD 16 (Fuller – R) 7.5 AD 26 (Mathis – R) 9.6
SD 40 (Hueso – D) 9.0 AD 32 (Salas – D) 9.8
SD 14 (Vidak – R) 10.4 AD 56 (Garcia – D) 12.9

Ratio of Highest to Lowest Rate: Senate 3.69
Ratio of Highest to Lowest Rate: Assembly 4.68

Bay Area Continues to Dominate Employment Growth

Bay Area continues to dominate employment growth in the state, capturing 53.9% of the state’s net employment growth since the 2007 pre-recession peak (November 2007), while containing only 19.4% of the state population. Due to the continued population growth, both Inland Empire and Central Valley show employment growth shares that are larger relative to their share of the population. Los Angeles Region with 29.4% of the population, contains only 5.5% of the state’s net employment growth since the pre-recession peak.

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