California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) reported that the state’s unemployment rate in June remained at its all-time-low of 4.7 percent, down from 5.5 percent in June 2016.
EDD reported that California’s total non-agricultural employment was 16,703,300 in June. That was up by 261,400 jobs from a year ago, and 2,516,700 jobs since the bottom of the last recession in February 2010.
Despite a seasonally-adjusted loss of 1,400 jobs in June, California’s unemployment rate remained unchanged from May, still matching its all-time-lows during the peak of the Dot-Com tech boom from November through December 2000. The June number of unemployed Californians was up from May by 2,000, to 900,000. But over the last year, the number of unemployed Californians is down by 145,000.
The June performance of California’s eleven major industry sectors was mixed, with six adding a total of 21,500 jobs and five sectors reporting a total loss of 22,900 jobs.
Professional and business services led all sectors with a gain of 9,100 jobs, followed by construction gains of 8,100 jobs, and smaller gains from financial activities; leisure and hospitality; mining and logging; and educational and health services.
Government was the biggest loser, down 8,100 for the month. That was followed by 8,100 fewer information services jobs. Manufacturing, trade, transportation and utilities also suffered smaller job losses.
Eight California industries added a total of 261,400 jobs in the last twelve moths, with the largest job gains in educational and health services, which were up 60,900 jobs. Construction was the second-best performer with a 46,500-job gain, followed by leisure and hospitality, with 44,200 additional jobs. Government; trade, transportation and utilities; professional and business services; and financial services also added jobs.
Three California industries saw small job losses over the last twelve months, including manufacturing, down by 9,900 jobs; information services, down by 1,500 jobs; and mining and logging, down by 1,200 jobs.
The Los Angeles Times referred to California’s tiny 1,400 job loss: “The yellow light is on.” The Times commented: “In the first half of 2016, the state piled on a total of nearly 160,000 new jobs. Through the first six months of this year, the state boosted payrolls by just 65,400.”
But the biggest challenge that employers face as the national unemployment rate has fallen to almost historic lows of 4.4 percent is finding recruits with the right job skills to match employment needs. The total number of U.S. job openings was at 5.7 million on the last business day of May, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the month, new hires increased by 429,000, to 5.5 million; while separations only increased by 251,000, to 5.3 million. The “quit rate” was unchanged, at 2.2 percent; while the “layoffs and discharges rate” was unchanged, at 1.1 percent.
Earlier, Breitbart News noted that despite the Silicon Valley-led national tech boom that created over one million unfilled information service jobs at the beginning of 2016, EDD reported that Silicon Valley lost 22,000 jobs between December 2016 and January 2017 as the tech boom shriveled.
The June EDD report reveals that the Silicon Valley still has the lowest unemployment rates in the state, with San Mateo County at 2.9 percent, followed by San Francisco County at 3.2 percent, and Santa Clara County at 3.5 percent.
But the days of tech leading California job growth seem to be over. Santa Clara County lost 1,300 jobs in the first half of this year, versus the year-earlier gain of 11,700; while the San Francisco-San Mateo region added just 12,500 jobs in the first half of 2017, down from a gain of 22,500 jobs in the first half of 2016.