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May 19, 2017

Welcome to the Beacon Employment Report, a unique analysis of California's employment numbers and trends. Each month, Beacon Economics links its 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 so critical in revealing accurate trends and insights within data. The analysis is a sample of the kind of research available from Beacon Economics.

Note About the Inland Empire: All employment and other data regarding the Inland Empire region of California (Riverside and San Bernardino Counties) is now housed at the UC Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. This includes a monthly employment report specifically focused on the region. Beacon Economics' researchers and other staff hold their same positions at the Center and are responsible for all analysis and products.

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Breaking with the latest trends, it was a weak month for job gains in California, according to an analysis released jointly by Beacon Economics and the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. The latest numbers from the California EDD shows the state shed 16,300 jobs in April. This followed a revised gain of 22,800 positions in March and marked the largest month-over-month job loss since 2010.

Additionally, year-over-year gains for the state fell to just 1.4%, the slowest pace of year-over-year growth since 2011. The weak numbers also pushed the pace of year-over-year job gains below national levels (+1.6%), although the pace of job growth over the first four months of the year was higher in California than in the nation as a whole.

The latest numbers for household employment tell a brighter story, with California’s unemployment rate declining to 4.8% in April, the lowest since February 2001. This was driven by a 27,800 increase in household employment and slightly offset by a 7,600 increase in the state’s labor force. The discrepancy between the state’s payroll employment data and its household employment data highlights the ‘noise’ that exists in monthly employment data and underscores the problem with reading too much into any single month.

“It’s great to see that the statewide unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest point in 16 years,” said Robert Kleinhenz, Executive Director of Research at Beacon Economics and the Center for Forecasting. “However, we are seeing a weaker pace of wage and salary job growth this year, which is to be expected when the economy is essentially at full employment. Still, the loss reported this month will likely be revised down in the future.”

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

May 2017 Report





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