California Labor Market Surges Ahead; EDD Revisions Show State Labor Market Stronger Than Believed
After slowing sharply over the past few months California’s labor market surged forward in February, adding over 40,000 jobs as the unemployment rate dropped by 2 tenths of one percent to 9.6%. The overall gain over the past year has been just under 300,000 jobs, a growth rate of 2% (seasonally adjusted). The sectors enjoying the biggest job gains included Professional and Business Services (+9,400), Leisure and Hospitality (+15,700), and surprisingly, Government (+11,200). While services were solid, the goods oriented part of the economy contracted—with jobs in Manufacturing (-3,300) down as well as in Trade and Transportation (-7,000).
Regionally, job growth was mixed. The Orange County (+7,000), San Diego (+6,500) and San Jose (+2,300) metropolitan areas boosted state nonfarm growth, but major metropolitan areas in the northern and southern parts of the state showed declines for the month: Los Angeles County (-4,800), San Francisco MD (-2,900) and Oakland MD (-2,600).
This week the EDD also released revised 2011 labor force data for California, reaffirming what their annual industry employment revisions showed – that California’s labor market has recovered at a faster pace than originally reported. The 2011 labor force data was revised upward to reflect an additional 18,500 entrants into the labor force. Last week, the 2012 labor force revisions showed an additional 65,900 entrants into the labor force.
The industries showing the largest upward revisions for 2012 in last week’s release include the Professional and Business Services (+25,700), Other Services (+22,900), and Leisure and Hospitality (+20,900) sectors. The Construction industry posted one of the largest percent changes showing an additional 16,200 jobs in 2012, a 2.8% difference from what was originally reported and reflecting a much improved housing sector in the Golden State.
Last week’s annual revisions also showed that the additional nonfarm job growth in 2012 was broad based regionally. The greater Los Angeles area and most of the San Francisco Bay Area were found to have stronger nonfarm job growth than originally reported. The San Francisco MD led the upward revisions with an additional 20,300 payroll positions, followed closely by Los Angeles County (+18,400) and Oakland MD (+16,800). The San Jose metropolitan area was the only major population center to see a downward revision for 2012, but only by 2,800 jobs.