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CA unemployment is just 0.9% above national rate of 5.4%

LAEDC economists look at today’s CA jobs data and provide analysis, looking at LA County and SoCal.

April 2015 California and Southern California
Summary of Labor Markets

LAEDC KYSER CENTER FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH

“California added 457,300 jobs in April 2015 compared to a year ago, equivalent to a 2.9% increase,” said Robert Kleinhenz, Chief Economist with the LAEDC. “California continues to outpace the nation in terms of job gains, with the U.S. adding jobs at a 2.2% rate in April. Industry job gains were broad-based and the unemployment rate in April hit its lowest since March 2008.”

California Summary (Seasonally Adjusted Numbers)

Current Month: April 2015

Indicator Yr Ago Month Ago Current Month MTM+ YTY+
Unemployment Rate in % 7.8 6.5 6.3 -0.2% -1.5%
Nonfarm Jobs 15,554,900 15,982,700 16,012,200

+29,500 or

+0.2%

+457,300 or +2.9

+ MTM = month-to-month, YTY = year-to-year

  • Unemployment rate fell 1.5 percentage points from 7.8% a year ago to 6.3% in April 2015, and edged down from 6.5% a month earlier. The April unemployment rate was the lowest since February 2008 when it was 6.2%. The average since 2000 is 7.6%.
  • California’s unemployment rate is just 0.9% above the national rate of 5.4%, which last occurred in September 2007 before the onset of the recession.
  • Over the month, civilian employment increased by 42,600 while the labor force grew by 17,300 (+0.1%), contributing to the month-to-month decline in the unemployment rate.
  • Over the year, the labor force rose by 1.1% or 210,200 workers, while total employment increased by 464,200, contributing to the decline in the unemployment rate compared to last year.

Nonfarm (wage and salary) jobs in California surpassed the 16 million mark for the first time ever in April, with a total of 16.0 million jobs. Nonfarm jobs grew by 29,500 month to month (0.2%) and by 457,300 or 2.9% YTY.

  • Most segments of the economy added jobs on a year-to-year basis, led by:
    • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (70,600 jobs or 6.0%)
    • Leisure and Hospitality (60,000 jobs or 3.4%)
    • Health Care and Social Assistance (57,000 jobs or +2.8%)
  • All major industries except for Mining and Logging and Nondurable Goods Manufacturing added jobs year-to year.
  • The following major industries experienced the largest yearly percentage gains:
    • Construction at 6.4% (+42,600 jobs)
    • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services at 6.0%
    • Transportation, Warehousing, & Utilities at 4.9%.

Los Angeles County (Seasonally Adjusted Numbers)

  • This Month: 6%
  • Last Month: 6%
  • Same Month Year Ago: 4%

For April 2015, the Los Angeles labor market continued to improve on a year-to-year basis with the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declining 0.8 percentage points from 8.4% a year earlier to 7.6%. The unemployment rate was unchanged from 7.6% last month. Average since January 2000 is 8.0%.

Los Angeles County (Not Seasonally Adjusted Numbers*)

The Los Angeles labor market continued to improve on a year-to-year basis.

  • The unemployment rate fell from 7.8% a year earlier to 7.1%, and was down from 7.3% in March.
  • The county added 109,600 wage and salary jobs from April 2014 to April 2015, a 2.6% increase.
  • Job gains occurred in most major industries, led by
    • Leisure and Hospitality (19,700, +4.3%)
    • Health Care and Social Assistance (15,900, +2.6%)
    • Government (11,800, +2.1%)
  • The largest year-to-year percentage increases occurred in:
    • Construction (6.6%)
    • Educational Services (6.6%)
    • Wholesale Trade (4.4%)
  • Job losses occurred in Manufacturing and Mining and Logging.
  • In the Goods Movement Sector, Transportation and Warehousing employment rose 5,100 and Wholesale Trade added 9,800 jobs year-to-year, for a combined increase of 14,900 jobs (+4.0%).
  • Employment services also rose by 5,800 jobs month-to-month, representing nearly 91% of the increase in employment in the major industry, Administrative, Waste, and Support Services.
  • Entertainment Industry Employment:
    • Employment in the Motion Picture & Sound Recording industry was 123,400 in April, increasing by 3,700 jobs (3.1%) from employment of 119,700 in April of last year.
    • In monthly terms, Motion Picture and Sound Recording fell by 1,200 jobs.
    • By comparison, at the national level this industry added jobs year-to-year, going from 378,500 in April 2014 to 390,700 in April 2015, a 3.2% increase.
    • Motion Picture and Sound Recording jobs in LA County account for 32% of the nation’s jobs in this industry, about the same as in recent years.
    • The Broadcasting industry gained 700 jobs (+3.5%).

 

Southern California Counties (Not Seasonally Adjusted Numbers*)

Current Month: April 2015

County/
Metro Area
Last Yr
U-Rate %
Last Month
U-Rate %
Current Month
U-Rate %
Change in Nonfarm Jobs
Orange County 5.1 4.4 4.1 +50,500 or +3.4%
Inland Empire 7.7 6.5 6.2 +52,200 or +4.1%
Ventura County 6.1 5.4 5.1 +3,600 or +1.2%

*NOTE: Detailed numbers at the county level are not seasonally adjusted. This may give rise to large swings from one month to the next. For that reason, this report generally emphasizes year-to-year changes over month-to-month changes, except where the monthly changes are noteworthy.

Orange County:

  • Leaders:
    • Construction (7,800 jobs or +9.8%)
    • Health Care and Social Assistance (6,500 or 4.0%)
    • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (5,800 jobs or +4.8%)
  • Job Losses: Information lost 400 jobs
  • Other: Administrative, Support and Waste (4,200 jobs year-to-year, or 3.4%) and Manufacturing (4,100 jobs or 2.6%)

 

Riverside/San Bernardino:

  • Leaders:
    • Administrative, Support and Waste Services (10,900 or +12.6%)
    • Leisure & Hospitality (9,700 jobs, +6.7%)
    • Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities (8,600 jobs, +10.3%)
  • Employment services accounted for 45.9% of the gains in Administrative, Support, and Waste Services.
  • Other: Health Care and Social Assistance (+4,100 jobs) and Wholesale Trade (+3,800 jobs).
  • Goods movement (Transportation/Warehousing + Wholesale Trade) continued impressive streak of growth, with a gain of 8,600 jobs, an 11.1% year-to-year gain. Goods movement employment is up by 10.0% through the first four months of 2015 compared to the same period last year.
  • Job Losses: NONE (Mining and Logging and Information flat YTY)

 

Ventura County:

  • Leaders:
    • Leisure and Hospitality (1,300 or +3.8%)
    • Construction (900 or 6.6%)
    • Government (900 or +2.0%).
  • Job Losses: Mining and Logging, Manufacturing, Educational & Health Services, Finance & Insurance

 

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