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January 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 Center for Economic Forecasting and Development at the School of Business Administration. 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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The Beacon Employment Report represents only a sample of the custom, comprehensive forecasts and economic analysis available from Beacon Economics. Learn More

California Ends 2016 Ahead of Nation in Job Growth

California ended another solid year of employment growth with a somewhat disappointing month, adding just 3,700 payroll jobs in December, despite an unemployment rate that continues to edge down, according to Beacon Economics’ analysis of the latest release from the California Employment Development Department (EDD).

The monthly gain of 3,700 positions will likely be revised upward, given that the sum of metropolitan area jobs gains indicates an increase of over 26,000 payrolls jobs.  This figure is closer to the average monthly gain of 27,700 jobs for all of 2016. These numbers are historically volatile around the end of the year and the forthcoming benchmark from the California Employment Development Department will likely result in a number of revisions.

While December’s gains fall well below the average monthly gains over the last year, the state continues to outpace the nation in terms of year-over-year job growth. Payroll employment in California expanded by 2.0% from December 2015 to December 2016, compared to 1.5% in the nation overall.

“California wage and salary jobs grew by 2.6% in 2016,” said Robert Kleinhenz, Executive Director of Research at Beacon Economics and the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting. “This is slower than a year earlier, but is consistent with a tighter labor market, very much like the nation as a whole. There is every reason to expect that we will see continued increases in jobs along with increased wages in the year ahead.”

With the latest data release falling on Inauguration Day it’s an ideal time to look at how far the state has come over the last 8 years. From December 2008 to December 2016 California has added over 1.6 million payroll positions, or roughly 17,000 jobs per month, even though payroll employment levels did not bottom out in the state until early 2010.

Key Points:

** Please see the Inland Empire Employment Report here from the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development for full details on that region’s labor market performance.

View the latest seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for:

 United States

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

January 2017 Report





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