Blue Green Line in Header


September 15, 2017

Welcome to the Beacon Employment Report, a unique analysis of California's employment numbers and trends. Each month, Beacon Economics and the UC Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecstibng adn Development 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.

Receive the Beacon Employment Report by email  
more info

The Beacon Employment Report represents only a sample of the custom, comprehensive forecasts and economic analysis available from Beacon Economics. Learn More


The slowdown in California’s labor market is continuing, according to an analysis released jointly by Beacon Economics and the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. After adding a revised 84,500 jobs in July, the latest data release from the California Employment Development Department shows the state shedding 8,200 jobs in August.

However, looking at the sum of state’s metropolitan areas paints a brighter picture: By this metric, California added roughly 15,800 jobs in August. The data discrepancy is largely a result of the historically noisy figures that occur in the summer season and problems with the seasonal adjustment process. Earlier in the year, from January 2017 through August 2017, the state added an average of 17,500 new positions each month.

Despite the slowdown, year-over-year jobs gains in California remain near national levels. From August 2016 to August 2017, year-over-year gains in the state stand at 1.6%, outpacing the 1.4% growth rate in the nation overall. 

California’s unemployment rate increased to 5.1% in August, a 0.3 percentage point increase from one month earlier. The driving force behind this rise was a sizeable increase in the state’s labor force, which expanded by 31,600 in August, the largest month-to-month gain since April 2010. Still, household employment levels also fell during the month, dropping by 14,100, but have expanded by 0.5% year-to-year. The slow growth in household employment and the lack of year-over-year growth in the state’s labor force (+0.2%) highlight the tightening of California’s labor markets over the last year.

“The jump in the unemployment rate was mainly due to an increase in the labor force. Detailed data show a welcome increase in the number of prime working age adults,” said Robert Kleinhenz, Executive Director of Research at Beacon Economics and the Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. “With the labor market as tight as it has been in recent months, this is a good development. As for the monthly drop in wage and salary jobs, we expect an upward revision in the coming months.” 

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

September 2017 Report





Beacon Economics is a leading provider of economic and data analysis. Our research informs the financial and economic strategies of major hedge funds, industry, cities and counties, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

For more information, please view our research and analytics page or contact:

Director of Business Development Rick Smith at 858-997-1834 or, or

Managing Partner Sherif Hanna at 310-571-3399 or

No Nonsense Economics blog feature image

Client Quotes

"Beacon Economics has become an invaluable resource to the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, providing us with data and research that informs our efforts to rebuild the region’s economy."
Gary Toebben, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

"Beacon Economics has substantially increased economic literacy here in Sonoma County."
Ben Stone, Director, Sonoma County Economic Development Board

"The professional and technically skilled staff at Beacon Economics delivered an excellent product that has been key to our District’s long term planning and fiscal health."
Dave Collins, Assistant General Manager, Finance and Management Services, East Bay Regional Park District