May 17, 2019
Beacon Employment Report
Presented by Beacon Economics
Welcome to the Beacon Employment Report, a unique analysis of California’s employment numbers and trends. 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, which are critical to revealing accurate trends and insights within data. The analysis is a sample of the kind of research available from Beacon Economics.
CALIFORNIA SEES UNEXPECTED JOB GROWTH IN MOST RECENT NUMBERS
Unemployment Rate Holds Steady
Nonfarm employment in California expanded at its fastest pace so far this year, based on the latest numbers from the California Employment Development Department, according an analysis released jointly by Beacon Economics and the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. Nonfarm payrolls in the state grew by 46,000 in April, the largest monthly gain in over two years (since March 2017).
“The most recent April numbers make it the highest growth month so far this year for California, which led all states in monthly gains last month,” said Robert Kleinhenz, Executive Director of Research at Beacon Economics and the UC Riverside Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. “That said, California’s employment growth has been slower this year compared to 2018, and has recently dipped below the job growth rate for the nation.”
Kleinhenz notes that while Southern California’s labor force growth has decelerated noticeably, continued labor force gains in the San Francisco Bay Area enabled California’s industries to maintain momentum. The forecast from Beacon Economics and the UCR Center for the remainder of 2019 and into 2020 has the state’s job growth continuing but at a slower pace than in the recent past.
From a year-over-year perspective, California added 271,600 jobs in the latest numbers. This was the equivalent to a 1.6% year-over-year increase, the fastest yearly pace so far this year, but slightly behind the 1.8% growth rate in the nation as a whole.
The unemployment rate in California has remained largely unchanged over the last year and held steady at 4.3% in April. While the state’s labor force declined by 52,200 in April, erasing much of the gain from earlier this year, on a year-over-year basis, the state’s labor force grew 1.1%, equivalent to an increase of 203,900.