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May 18, 2018

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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In the latest numbers from the California Employment Development Department, the state added nearly 40,000 jobs – and the losses that were reported last month have been revised upwards, according to an analysis released jointly by Beacon Economics and the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. California added 39,300 jobs in April and the initial job losses reported in March were revised from a 7,200 decline to a 5,400 gain.

With the revised counts and the latest gains, year-over-year job growth in the state now stands at 356,500 positions, or 2.1%, which is well above the pace of job growth in the nation overall (1.6%) from April 2017 to April 2018.

The state’s unemployment rate also fell to 4.2% in April, reaching another record low level. However, the decline was partly driven by a decrease in the state’s labor force during the month,  the fourth month-over-month decline in the last six months. Still, in year-over-year terms, the  labor force expanded by a modest 106,600 (+0.6%) in April, and Household Employment grew by 245,400 (+1.3%).

"Consistent with our forecast for faster national growth this year, job gains in California have tracked somewhat more quickly in the first four months of 2018 compared to 2017, pushing the unemployment rate into record-low territory,” said Robert Kleinhenz, Executive Director of Research at Beacon Economics and the UCR Center for Forecasting. “Looking across the state, most regions are seeing steady job gains. And while the largest absolute gains tend to be in the larger counties of the Bay Area and Southern California, it is noteworthy that 6 of the 10 metro areas with the fastest yearly percentage gains in April were in California’s Central Valley." 

Key Findings:


View the latest seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for:

 United States

View seasonally adjusted industry employment data for California's
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May 2018 Report





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