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January 18, 2019

Welcome to the Beacon Employment Report, a unique analysis of California's employment numbers and trends released by Beacon Economics and the UC Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. Each month, we link our own econometric predictions to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the California Employment Development Department to identify important changes in employment across industries and regions. The Beacon Employment Report is also one of the few analyses that uses seasonally adjusted numbers. Click here to learn more about why seasonal adjustment is critical to revealing accurate trends and insights within data. The analysis is a sample of the kind of research available from Beacon Economics.

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California capped out 2018 with another solid month of employment gains, according to an analysis released jointly by Beacon Economics and the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. The state increased payrolls by 24,500 jobs in the latest numbers from the California Employment Development Department. These gains place California's year-over-year employment increase at 1.7%, just behind the national growth rate of 1.8%.

California’s unemployment rate inched up to 4.2% in December, a 0.1 percentage point increase over November. However, the driving force behind the increase was an uptick in the state’s labor force, which grew by 75,800 during the month. While labor force growth was slow from a year-over-year perspective earlier in 2018, stronger growth over the past several months has helped push year-over-year gains to 1.1%.

Note: There is often significant volatility in this data series, particularly during the months surrounding the upcoming March revisions by the EDD. Due to the volatility, Beacon and the UCR Center caution against reading too much into these figures.

“As expected, Federal tax cuts and increased government spending boosted the economy last year, but we were concerned that a tight labor market would limit growth,” said Robert Kleinhenz, Executive Director of Research at Beacon Economics and the UCR Center for Forecasting. “However, the year ahead looks good with this surge in the labor force in recent months, precipitated in part by sharp increases in earnings at year end.”

Key Findings:


View the latest seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for:

 United States

View seasonally adjusted industry employment data for California's
28 MSAs and MDs

January 2019 Report





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