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October 20, 2017

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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While weather related disasters in many parts of the country led to the first decline in nonfarm payrolls in seven years for the nation overall, the latest numbers from the California Employment Development Department show the state bucking this trend, according to an analysis released jointly by Beacon Economics and the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. In September, California added a solid 52,200 payroll jobs.

With another solid month of employment gains, year-over-over job growth in California increased to 1.7%, while year-over-year job gains in the nation slipped to 1.2%.

The state’s unemployment rate held steady in September as well, currently sitting at 5.1%. Despite a sizable uptick the state’s labor force during the month (+125,900), overall job growth remains modest for the year, growing by just 145,800 (0.8%). Similarly, household employment saw solid gains during the month (+112,800), but year-over-year growth remains modest (1.0%) relative to the expansion in payrolls. 

The modest growth in the state’s labor force indicates employers are finding it increasingly difficult to attract candidates to fill skilled positions and the lack of available housing in many parts of the state is making it difficult to fill lower-wage positions.

“While this month’s report is solid, overall growth rates are much slower than they were two years ago,” said Christopher Thornberg, Founding Partner of Beacon Economics and Director of the UCR School of Business Center for Forecasting. “The lack of available labor is preventing the state from growing at the pace it could. Until California develops real plans to stimulate new growth in housing, sub 2% growth will likely be par for the course.” 

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

October 2017 Report





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