e-Edge NewsletterNewsletters

e-Edge Newsletter v.20 n.15 – Released April 20, 2016

By April 20, 2016 No Comments

v.20 n.14 – Released April 6, 2016

This Week’s Headlines:

March State and Local Employment Report

The Employment Development Department (EDD) released the state and local employment reports for the month of March. Total California nonfarm employment increased by 4,200 jobs over the month in seasonally adjusted (SA) terms. Additionally, the February increase originally reported as 39,900 was revised up to 46,600. The March year-over-year change showed an increase of 420,800 jobs (SA). This equated to a growth rate of 2.6%, exceeding the national growth rate of 2.0%. California’s private sector added 374,000 (an increase of 2.8%) over the year, while employment in the public sector rose by 1.9% (46,800 jobs).


Employment growth continued across most industry sectors in March, with nine of the 11 super-sectors adding jobs over the year: construction; trade, transportation and utilities; information; financial activities; professional and business services; educational and health services; leisure and hospitality; other services and government for a combined gain of 429,400 jobs. Educational and health services posted the largest gain on a numerical basis, adding 104,700 jobs (up 4.3%), while construction continued to claim the largest gain in percentage terms, up 5.6% and adding 39,600 jobs.

Two sectors suffered declines in March: mining and logging employment plunged by 12.9%, a decrease of 3,900 jobs, while manufacturing shed 4,700 jobs (-0.4%).

California’s unemployment rate declined again over the month, falling from 5.5% in February to 5.4% in March, closing in on the national rate of 5.0%. In spite of its rapid decline, California’s unemployment rate is still the 17th highest in the U.S. (including Washington D.C.). The year ago rate was 6.6%. The number of employed persons now stands at a record high of over 18 million (an increase of 2.0% over the year), while the number of unemployed workers fell by 17.9% over they year to 1.0 million. California’s labor force also grew over the year, increasing by 0.7% to 19.1 million workers.


County highlights:

(Note: With the exception of the Los Angeles County unemployment rate, county level numbers are not seasonally adjusted, which means there can be large month-to-month fluctuations in job counts. A truer picture of how local labor markets are faring is revealed by focusing on the year-over-year numbers. Annual trends “correct” for the seasonal factors that influence certain industry sectors over the course of the year.)

  • In Los Angeles County, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate improved over the month to 5.4% (matching the statewide rate) compared with 5.6% in February and was down from the year ago rate of 7.4%. Total nonfarm employment (not seasonally adjusted) rose by 12,800 jobs over the month and was up over the year by 97,700 jobs, an increase of 2.3%.

    Private education and health services posted the largest year-over-year increase, adding 36,800 jobs. Most of the gain was in health care (up by 28,400 jobs), while educational services added 8,400 jobs to the total. Leisure and hospitality payrolls increased by 19,900 jobs, while trade, transportation and utilities expanded by 11,100 jobs. Manufacturing recorded the only decline over the year, contracting by 5,100 jobs, with job losses about evenly divided between durable and nondurable goods.

  • In March, the unemployment rate in Orange County was 4.0%, unchanged over the month but below the year-ago figure of 4.6%. Nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 8,800 over the month and were up by 47,600 over the year (an increase of 3.1%).
  • In the Riverside-San Bernardino area, the unemployment rate in March was 5.8%, also unchanged over the month but below the year ago estimate of 6.8%. The Inland Empire added 8,100 nonfarm payroll jobs over the month and gained 45,400 over the year. This represented an increase of 3.4%.
  • In Ventura County, the unemployment rate was 5.0%, down from 5.1% in January and from the year ago estimate of 5.7%. Total nonfarm employment rose by 1,000 jobs over the month and was up by 3,700 jobs over the year (a gain of 1.3%).

Summary: Employment in California and in the Los Angeles five-county region continues to trend up with Los Angeles notably achieving an unemployment rate matching that of the state. Most sectors added jobs over the month in March, while unemployment rates across the region are at their lowest levels since 2006. The year-over-year gains remain on track with impressive job gains in many industries, including health care, professional business services, leisure and hospitality, and construction. (Kimberly Ritter-Martinez)

Source: California EDD

California Home Sales and Median Prices in March

The California Association of Realtors (CAR) released their March report covering California existing home sales and median prices. The statewide median price rose over the year by 4.0% to $483,020 and was the strongest gain in six months. Compared with February, the median price moved higher by 8.9%, reversing a two month decline.


Sales of single-family homes rose by 5.7% over the year in March to 415,220 units sold (annualized rate, adjusted for seasonality). The spring home buying season is underway but sales growth during the coming months will be tied to the regions in California where affordability is less of a problem (inland areas) and where inventory is more abundant. In the San Francisco bay area, for example, where year-over-year sales were down by 8.1% in March, the inventory of homes for sale was just 2.6%. In contrast, with a 4.0 month supply, sales growth in the Los Angeles metro area increased by 1.7%, and in the Inland Empire, where there was a 4.5 month supply, sales increased by 5.3% over the year in March. The lack of inventory and competition for what is available in many of California’s coastal employment centers continues to exert strong upward pressure on prices.

Mortgage interest rates were basically flat in March, with the 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaging 3.69%, compared with 3.66% in February and 3.77% in March 2015.

Below is a year-over-year summary of sales and price activity in Southern California by county. Although the statewide sales figures are seasonally adjusted, regional and county figures are not.

  • Los Angeles County: unit sales edged lower by 0.4% over the year in March, while the median price rose by 5.0% to $440,460.
  • Orange County: sales were down by 3.5%, but the median price increased by 3.6% to $721,140.
  • Riverside County: sales of existing homes rose by 1.6%, while the median price moved higher by 7.2% to $355,590.
  • San Bernardino County: sales jumped by 12.2% in March and the median price shot up by 10.1% to $237,350.
  • San Diego County: unit sales inched higher by 1.1% and the median price increased by 8.1% to $573,580.
  • Ventura County: sales were rose by 8.0% over the year, while the median price increased by 3.9% to $620,020.

(Kimberly Ritter-Martinez)

Source: California Association of REALTORS

Events of Interest

Register Now!

May 10, 2016: San Gabriel Valley Economic Outlook

Pacific Palms Resort & Conference Center: 1 Industry Hills Parkway, City of Industry, CA

Success in the 21st century requires having up-to-date data. The San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership presents the only study specifically about the economy of the San Gabriel Valley, compiled by the Kyser Center for Economic Research, one of the most renowned economic research facilities in the nation. This special report provides the information business and community leaders need to understand opportunities for investment, business expansion, job creation and how to avoid pitfalls.

This is your opportunity to get the data first hand and ask questions of Economist Kimberly Ritter-Martinez and State Treasurer John Chiang.

June 16-17, 2016: Select L.A. International Investment Summit

JW Marriott at LA Live: 900 West Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90015

The 2016 SELECT LA Investment Summit is Southern California’s premier international trade event that brings together global investors with business and governmental leaders from Southern California to facilitate and secure foreign direct investment (FDI), and gain exclusive insights on market trends and opportunities in the Los Angeles region.

SELECT LA offers the perfect environment to create and foster new relationships with individuals who are responsible for turning a conversation into an investment opportunity. Just as important is understanding the local processes and protocol for a diverse array of industries and verticals. World Trade Center Los Angeles will facilitate the conference and present many ways to get in the mix, such as table exhibits, one-on-one interactions, seminars and panels led by local and international innovators and executives.

Leave a Reply