(The Center Square) – California’s October unemployment rate rose to 4.8%, up 0.1 percentage point from September, while employers registered a month-over increase of 40,200 new hires versus 8,700 in September, according to the California Employment Development Department (EDD). The Golden State has added 3,236,900 new hires for an average monthly gain of 77,069 jobs since April 2020, the beginning of the current economic expansion.
October’s employment data comes from the survey week including Oct. 12, taken from two separate federal surveys. One is a survey of households. The other is a survey of businesses.
Jeffrey Michael is the director of Public Policy Programs and Professor of Public Policy at Pacific McGeorge School of Law. “The household survey shows slight declines in the number of people in the workforce and holding jobs,” he told The Center Square in an email, “with the unemployment rate edging higher but still below 5%. The tight job market has been gradually loosening up over the past year, but has remained resilient to broader economic pressures from higher interest rates, geopolitical risks, and labor unrest.”
California’s gain of 40,200 nonfarm new hires in Oct. accounted for 26.8% of the U.S.’s job gain of 150,000 for the month, according to the EDD. In October, 10 of California’s 11 industrial sectors added nonfarm payroll jobs versus five sectors with employment increases in September.
Private education and health services gained 13,200 new hires in Oct. a drop compared with 18,200 in Sept., according to the EDD. Again, private education and health services was the leading sector for job creation due to hiring in outpatient care sectors, nursing care facilities and individual and family services. This sector has gained 152,400 new hires between October 2022 and October 2023.
California’s trade, transportation and utilities employers registered second place for job creation in October, adding 6,900 new hires. This sector has a year-over-gain of 12,500 new hires, according to the EDD.
Leisure and hospitality employers in California hired 5,100 new workers in Oct. compared with September’s 11,300 hires. This sector, crushed with business closures and employee job cuts during Gov. Newsom’s “shelter in place” pandemic restrictions, has a year-over change of 90,000 payroll jobs, according to the EDD.
California’s construction sector added 4,500 new hires in Oct. compared with 2,200 in September and has gained 21,000 jobs since October 2022, according to the EDD. The Federal Reserve Bank’s monetary policy of interest-rate hikes to fight inflation, or a general rise in prices, tends to slow hiring despite the central bank’s mission to support employment growth and stabilize prices.
California’s manufacturing employers gained 3,400 new hires in October after shedding 4,600 jobs in September. Manufacturing employment has lost 10,000 jobs since October 2022.
Agricultural employers shed 800 jobs in October after adding 800 in September, according to the EDD. Meanwhile, a water management strategy called “flood-managed aquifer recharge, or flood-MAR,” steering excess flood flows onto farmland, promises to boost groundwater aquifers, the California Farm Bureau reports.