California’s unemployment rate rises to 4.5%; 67,000 new nonfarm payroll jobs
Fri, May 19, 2023 4:18 PM
By Seth Sandronsky, The Center Square
Job growth rebounded in California recently. Employers added 67,000 nonfarm new hires between March and April. Meanwhile, the state’s month-over-month unemployment rate rose 0.1% to 4.5%, according to the California Employment Development Department (EDD).
Employment grew in 10 of 11 of California’s 11 industry sectors in April compared with six in March. Private education and health care employers led the way in April with 21,700 new hires versus 7,000 in March.
In the leisure and hospitality industry, California employers added 13,100 new hires, the second-strongest month-over gains. Driving this job growth were performing arts, spectator sports and related industries, and the food services and drinking places industry groups. All four NBA teams in California participated in the NBA playoffs, with the LA Lakers playing against the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals now.
The trade, transportation, and utilities sector registered a month-over gain of 10,300 jobs, due to demand for labor services from parts dealers, gas stations and fuel dealers, truck transportation, and support activities for transportation, according to the state EDD.
California’s construction sector gained 2,100 new jobs in April after losing 8,200 jobs in March. The year-over change in employment registers a loss of 5,100 jobs. This negative figure is perhaps an outcome of Federal Reserve Bank interest-rate hikes, increasing the price of loans, upon which the construction industry depends on.
“The number of jobs in the agriculture industry decreased from March by 2,100 to a total of 432,800 jobs in April,” the EDD reported. “The agricultural industry had 10,000 more farm jobs in April 2023 than it did in April a year ago.” With recent heavy rainfall, California’s farm output is a big part of the state’s economy.
“Citing California’s improved water supply and increased almond shipments in early 2023,” the California Farm Bureau reported, “growers and almond sector leaders say the outlook has improved for the state’s No. 3 crop, valued at $5 billion. Three years of drought and a drop in the almond price prompted growers to remove orchards and plant fewer trees. However, conditions changed this winter after atmospheric river storms brought above-average snowpack and filled empty reservoirs.”
The geography of California’s economy continued to register uneven employment. Marin County had the lowest statewide unemployment rate of 2.8% in April compared with 3.8% in March. Rural Colusa County had a 14.2% unemployment rate in April versus 19.2% in March, the highest of California’s 58 counties for the second straight month.