01/16/2019

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September 2018 Jobs Report

Download September 2018 Jobs Report

Highlights for policy makers:

Unemployment Rate Level at 4.1%; Total Employment up 34,600

The Labor Force data for September 2018 (seasonally adjusted; California preliminary) is shown below, along with the change from the prior month:

Seasonally Adjusted California US
Sep 2018 Change from Aug 2018 Sep 2018 Change from Aug 2018
Unemployment Rate 4.1% -0.1 3.7% -0.2
Labor Force 19,385,000 0.2% 161,926,000 0.1%
Participation Rate 62.0% 0.1 62.7% 0.0
Employment 18,582,400 0.2% 155,962,000 0.3%
Unemployment 803,000 0.0% 5,964,000 -4.3%
Source: California Employment Development Department; US Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

The related not seasonally adjusted numbers (California preliminary), with the change from September 2017:

Not Seasonally Adjusted California US
Sep 2018 Change from Sep 2017 Sep 2018 Change from Sep 2017
Unemployment Rate 3.9% -0.4 3.6% -0.5
Labor Force 19,552,500 0.5% 161,958,000 0.6%
Participation Rate 62.5% -0.2 62.7% -0.3
Employment 18,783,600 0.9% 156,191,000 1.1%
Unemployment 768,900 -8.6% 5,766,000 -12.1%
Source: California Employment Development Department; US Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

California Employment Development Department’s (EDD) latest data shows on a seasonally adjusted basis, total employment rose 34,600 from August, while the number of unemployed fell 300. The labor force grew by 34,300.

California’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate improved to 4.1%, the lowest level in the current data series that began in 1976. California tied with Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming for the 15th highest unemployment rate among the states. The unadjusted rate dropped from 4.3% in September 2017 to 3.9%.

Total US employment saw a seasonally adjusted gain of 420,000 from August, while the number of unemployed dropped by 270,000 and the total labor force grew by 150,000. The national unemployment rate improved to 3.7%.

Labor Force Participation Rate Level at 62.0%

California’s participation rate (seasonally adjusted) in September notched up to 62.0%, while the US rate remained level at 62.7%.

California’s labor force remained essentially unchanged, growing only 4,800 over the year ending September 2018, or 0.0% growth. The US as a whole grew 0.8 million – a 0.5% expansion. While workers elsewhere continue to return to the workforce, California’s continued low rate has implications for future growth in the state, including the ability to sustain jobs expansion as fewer workers are available and continued effects on state and local budgets for higher social program spending compared to other states.

Considered by age, the prime working age groups in California (age 25-54 and 55-64) remain somewhat below their previous highs since 2000, with youth employment remaining below levels from a year ago. These trends in particular have long-term implications for income distributions in the state, as most studies indicate that work skills developed through early employment are correlated with long-term earnings potential. In contrast to the younger groups, persons 65 and older show a higher labor force participation rate compared to the prior low at the beginning of this period.

Labor Force Participation Rate by Age (12-month moving average)

Prior Max September 2018
Total 67.2% 62.2%
16-19 46.8% 27.2%
20-24 76.4% 65.6%
25-54 82.1% 80.3%
55-64 66.3% 63.8%
Prior Min
65+ 12.1% 19.5%
Source: Current Population Survey microdata; EDD
Note: All entries from 12-month moving average

State Employment Growth Rankings—California Remains at 5th

Change in Employment, September 2017 – September 2018

Rank Number of Employed Percentage Change Population Adjusted
(employment growth per 1,000 civilian
noninstitutional population)
1 TX 251,500 MA 4.5% MA 28.2
2 MA 157,700 NV 2.8% NV 16.7
3 FL 148,800 NM 2.6% CO 15.5
4 GA 106,000 DE 2.5% DE 14.6
5 CA 81,100 CO 2.3% NM 14.2
6 IN 71,400 IN 2.2% IN 13.8
7 CO 68,500 GA 2.2% GA 13.2
8 VA 62,400 NH 1.9% NH 12.8
9 NC 60,600 TX 1.9% TX 11.8
10 AZ 48,600 OK 1.9% ID 11.7
11 NY 45,800 ID 1.9% DC 11.4
12 MN 43,200 DC 1.7% OK 11.2
13 NV 39,400 AL 1.7% RI 10.1
14 AL 34,900 RI 1.6% MN 9.9
15 IL 34,200 AZ 1.5% VA 9.4
16 OK 33,500 FL 1.5% AL 9.1
17 WA 31,800 VA 1.5% AZ 8.9
18 MI 29,900 MN 1.5% FL 8.7
19 TN 25,800 NC 1.3% UT 8.1
20 MO 25,500 UT 1.2% NC 7.5
21 PA 23,600 IA 1.1% IA 7.4
22 NM 23,000 KY 1.0% NE 6.7
23 KY 20,200 NE 1.0% SD 6.7
24 WI 18,600 SD 1.0% KY 5.8
25 IA 18,200 MS 0.9% WIA 5.4
26 UT 18,200 WA 0.9% MO 5.3
27 ID 15,300 MO 0.9% TN 4.9
28 NH 14,100 TN 0.8% MS 4.8
29 DE 11,200 ME 0.7% VT 4.7
30 MS 10,900 VT 0.7% ME 4.4
31 NE 9,900 MI 0.6% WI 4.0
32 RI 8,700 WI 0.6% MI 3.6
33 SC 7,000 HI 0.6% HI 3.5
34 DC 6,500 IL 0.6% IL 3.4
35 KS 6,400 NY 0.5% KS 2.9
36 OH 6,100 KS 0.4% NY 2.9
37 ME 4,900 CA 0.4% CA 2.6
38 SD 4,400 PA 0.4% PA 2.3
39 HI 3,800 SC 0.3% SC 1.8
40 LA 3,200 LA 0.2% LA 0.9
US 2,071,000 US 1.3% US 8.1
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Seasonally Adjusted

 

Between September 2017 and September 2018, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows the total number of employed in California increased by 81,100 (seasonally adjusted), or 3.9% of the total net employment gains in this period for the US. Based on the total numbers, California remained in 5th place behind Texas, Massachusetts, Florida, and Georgia. Measured by percentage change in employment over the year, California fell to 37th highest. Adjusted for working age population, California was 37th as well.

Nonfarm Jobs Up 13,200

EDD reported that between August and September 2018, seasonally adjusted nonfarm wage and salary jobs grew by 13,200. August’s results were revised to a 42,600 gain from the previously reported 44,800.

In the not seasonally adjusted nonfarm numbers that allow a more detailed look at industry shifts, hiring saw increases in all but 5 industries over the year. The change in total payroll jobs from September 2017 saw the largest increases in lower wage Food Services (43,800), higher wage Professional, Scientific & Technical Services (39,200), and Government (38,100). Declines were in Other Services (-3,900) and Mining & Logging (-300).

Not Seasonally Adjusted Payroll Jobs Sep 2018 Aug 2018 Change Sep 2018 – Aug 2018 Change Sep 2018 – Sep 2017
Total Farm 484,300 481,700 2,600 8,600
Mining and Logging 22,700 22,600 100 -300
Construction 872,900 879,000 -6,100 35,100
Manufacturing 1,326,400 1,332,600 -6,200 200
Wholesale Trade 727,800 727,400 400 2,300
Retail Trade 1,688,500 1,694,700 -6,200 8,600
Utilities 58,100 58,100 0 100
Transportation & Warehousing 595,600 594,500 1,100 20,900
Information 542,500 546,500 -4,000 8,900
Finance & Insurance 545,800 551,300 -5,500 0
Real Estate & Rental & Leasing 288,100 288,200 -100 3,200
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services 1,267,900 1,274,400 -6,500 39,300
Management of Companies & Enterprises 234,700 235,300 -600 3,600
Administrative & Support & Waste Services 1,161,300 1,146,100 15,200 37,100
Educational Services 366,300 354,800 11,500 9,600
Health Care 1,531,300 1,535,000 -3,700 24,700
Social Assistance 818,900 815,300 3,600 37,400
Arts, Entertainment & Recreation 320,900 324,000 -3,100 16,200
Accommodation 237,000 237,100 -100 9,100
Food Services 1,465,700 1,472,000 -6,300 43,800
Other Services 560,400 564,300 -3,900 -6,500
Government 2,556,500 2,475,300 81,200 38,100
Total Nonfarm 17,189,300 17,128,500 60,800 331,400
Total Wage and Salary 17,673,600 17,610,200 63,400 340,000
Source: California Employment Development Department

 

At a 339,600 increase, California remained at 3rd highest measured by seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs among the states from September 2017 to September 2018, behind Florida at 407,300 and Texas at 406,400. By percentage growth in jobs, California fell to 16th highest at 2.0%, but still above the US average. By population adjusted jobs growth, California rose to dropped to 20th highest.

Change in Nonfarm Jobs (seasonally adjusted), September 2017 – September 2018

Rank Number of Jobs Employment Growth (%) Population Adjusted
(jobs growth per 1,000 civilian
noninstitutional population)
1 FL 407,300 FL 4.8% FL 23.9
2 TX 406,400 UT 3.6% UT 23.2
3 CA 339,600 TX 3.3% TX 19.0
4 GA 111,100 NV 3.2% NV 18.4
5 WA 105,200 WA 3.2% WA 18.0
6 OH 104,600 AZ 2.9% CO 17.5
7 NY 95,300 CO 2.9% AZ 14.8
8 NC 82,300 ID 2.7% ID 14.7
9 AZ 81,400 NM 2.6% WY 14.1
10 PA 78,700 GA 2.5% DC 14.0
11 CO 77,200 OR 2.3% GA 13.8
12 VA 68,400 WY 2.2% NH 13.5
13 TN 63,900 NH 2.2% NM 13.1
14 MA 63,400 TN 2.1% OR 12.9
15 MI 63,300 OK 2.0% TN 12.1
16 NJ 58,000 CA 2.0% NE 11.9
17 UT 52,400 OH 1.9% OH 11.4
18 IL 50,300 NC 1.9% MA 11.3
19 NV 43,500 HI 1.8% OK 11.3
20 OR 43,200 TN 1.8% CA 10.9
21 WI 41,700 DE 1.8% HI 10.6
22 MO 39,300 MA 1.8% DE 10.4
23 MN 38,200 VA 1.7% VA 10.3
24 OK 34,000 NE 1.7% NC 10.2
25 IN 28,000 MT 1.6% SD 9.4
US2,537,000 US1.7% US9.9
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Four Industries Still below 2007 Pre-Recession Job Levels

Source: California Employment Development Department, not seasonally adjusted; wages are running 4 quarter average from QCEW wage data

 

Comparing the number of jobs by industry in September 2018 (not seasonally adjusted), 4 industries had employment below the 2007 pre-recession levels. The highest gain industries were led by lower wage Food Services, Health Care (with a relatively higher mix of lower and higher wage occupations), lower wage Social Assistance, and higher wage Professional, Scientific &amp Technical Services. Of the lagging industries, three—Manufacturing, Mining & Logging, and Construction—are blue collar middle class wage industries. While slowing, Construction was still higher than in recent years but still remains 46,900 below the 2007 level, and 93,400 (9.7%) below the previous high in 2006.

Job Gains by Wage Level

The following chart illustrates the trend for total wage and salary jobs by general wage level, according to the industry wage classification used previously in other Center analyses of this issue. As indicated, nearly half (45%) of net jobs growth since the recession has been in the lower wage industries. For the 12 months ending September 2018, lower wage industries accounted for under a third (30%) of new jobs, while middle class-blue collar jobs produced over a quarter (28%) as Construction levels remained higher compared to recent years.

Source: Analysis of California Employment Development Department data, not seasonally adjusted

Two-Tier Economy Persists—Central Valley Unemployment More than Twice as High as Bay Area

The level of unemployment rates (all data is not seasonally adjusted) continues to vary widely across the state, ranging from 2.6% in the Bay Area to more than twice as large at 6.0% in the Central Valley.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate (%) September 2018
California 3.9
Bay Area 2.6
Orange County 2.8
Sacramento 3.4
Central Coast 3.5
Central Sierra 3.6
San Diego/Imperial 3.9
Inland Empire 4.1
Upstate California 4.3
Los Angeles 4.7
Central Valley 6.0

By Legislative District:

Lowest 10 Unemployment Rates
CD18 (Eshoo-D) 2.1 SD13 (Hill-D) 2.1 AD16 (Baker-R) 2.0
CD12 (Pelosi-D) 2.3 SD11 (Wiener-D) 2.5 AD22 (Mullin-D) 2.0
CD52 (Peters-D) 2.5 SD39 (Atkins-D) 2.7 AD24 (Berman-D) 2.2
CD17 (Khanna-D) 2.5 SD36 (Bates-R) 2.7 AD28 (Low-D) 2.3
CD14 (Speier-D) 2.5 SD37 (Moorlach-R) 2.8 AD17 (Chiu-D) 2.4
CD15 (Swalwell-D) 2.6 SD10 (Wieckowski-D) 2.8 AD77 (Maienschein-R) 2.5
CD45 (Walters-R) 2.7 SD07 (Glazer-D) 2.8 AD25 (Chu-D) 2.5
CD49 (Issa-R) 2.7 SD15 (Beall-D) 2.8 AD19 (Ting-D) 2.6
CD48 (Rohrabacher-R) 2.9 SD02 (McGuire-D) 3.0 AD73 (Brough-R) 2.6
CD02 (Huffman-D) 2.9 SD38 (Anderson-R) 3.3 AD78 (Gloria-D) 2.6
Highest 10 Unemployment Rates
CD34 (Gomez-D) 5.6 SD21 (Wilk-R) 5.5 AD13 (Eggman-D) 6.0
CD29 (Cárdenas-D) 5.8 SD18 (Hertzberg-D) 5.6 AD51 (Carrillo-D) 6.2
CD43 (Waters-D) 5.8 SD33 (Lara-D) 5.8 AD36 (Lackey-R) 6.4
CD40 (Roybal-Allard-D) 5.8 SD24 (de León-D) 5.8 AD59 (Jones-Sawyer-D) 6.6
CD23 (McCarthy-R) 6.3 SD30 (Mitchell-D) 6.0 AD21 (Gray-D) 7.1
CD22 (Nunes-R) 6.5 SD12 (Cannella-R) 6.0 AD64 (Gipson-D) 7.2
CD44 (Barragán-D) 7.0 SD16 (Fuller-R) 6.2 AD31 (Arambula-D) 7.7
CD16 (Costa-D) 7.2 SD35 (Bradford-D) 6.3 AD26 (Mathis-R) 8.4
CD21 (Valadao-R) 8.3 SD40 (Hueso-D) 7.7 AD32 (Salas-D) 8.7
CD51 (Vargas-D) 9.1 SD14 (Vidak-R) 9.1 AD56 (Garcia-D) 10.8

Bay Area Provided 39.5% of Net Employment Growth Since Recession

Containing 19.6% of the state’s population, the Bay Area was responsible for 39.5% of the net growth in employment since the pre-recession peaks in 2007. Los Angeles Region, containing 29.1% of the population, accounted for the third largest share at 17.2%. Inland Empire is the only other region—at a growing margin—continuing to show employment gains above their population share. Based on the preliminary September numbers, Inland Empire continues to eclipse Los Angeles Region for employment growth compared to before the recession.

Six California MSAs in the 10 Worst Unemployment Rates Nationally

According to BLS data, of the 10 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) with the worst unemployment rates nationally, six are in California. Of the 20 worst, nine are in California.

Metropolitan Area August 2018 Rate Rank
Yuma, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area 22.0 388
El Centro, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 20.3 387
Visalia-Porterville, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 8.7 386
Bakersfield, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.3 385
Merced, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.0 384
Hanford-Corcoran, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.7 383
Vineland-Bridgeton, NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.6 380
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.6 380
Fresno, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.6 380
Brownsville-Harlingen, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.2 377
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.3 379
Madera, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.2 377
Hammond, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.1 375
Alexandria, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.1 375
Sierra Vista-Douglas, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.0 373
Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.0 373
Yuba City, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 5.9 368
Shreveport-Bossier City, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area 5.9 368
Monroe, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area 5.9 368
Modesto, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 5.9 368

 

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