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California payrolls add 96,800 nonfarm employees; jobless rate drops to 7.3%

(The Center Square) – California employers added 96,800 new nonfarm hires in October versus September’s 47,400 total, according to the state Employment Development Department. October’s unemployment rate of 7.3% improved from September’s 7.5%.

California employers have added 1,828,500 jobs, or 67.4%, after 2,714,800 job layoffs in March and April 2020, when losses spiked significantly in leisure and hospitality employment from COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, e.g., stay-at-home mandates from Gov. Newsom, according to the state EDD. The October job gains of 96,800 jobs account for 18.2% of the U.S.’s gain of 531,000 jobs in October 2021. The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.6% in October versus California’s 7.3%.

Professor Jeffrey Michael is the Director of Public Policy Programs and Professor of Public Policy at Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California's capital city.

“This was a solid month for employment recovery,” he said. “The gain is notable for being broadly distributed across industries, led by professional and business services, in contrast to earlier in the year where the recovery has been more concentrated in the hard-hit tourism and hospitality industry. The gains were also very strong in the San Francisco Bay Area, a region that has been lagging behind during the pandemic jobs recovery.”

In October, 10 of the Golden State’s 11 industry sectors realized employment growth compared with nine in September. Professional and business services led the way in job gains with 39,500 new hires versus September’s 6,900, according to the EDD. Leisure and hospitality employers were the second-fastest job-creating sector, with 21,500 new hires, just under September’s 23,300. Government employment was the only sector to shed jobs in October, with a decline of 4,000 positions versus adding 46,900 jobs in September.

According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, California tied with Nevada of the 50 states for the highest unemployment rate of 7.3%, seasonally adjusted. Both states registered an unemployment rate of 7.5% in September. New Jersey was the only other state in October with an unemployment rate of 7% or higher after registering 7.2% in September.

Gov. Newsom touted employment growth while sidestepping the jobless rate in the Golden State. “California has again created more new jobs than any other state – averaging six-figure job growth for nine months straight – an unprecedented achievement as our economy continues to recover from the pandemic,” he said in a statement. “But there’s more work to be done, and we’re laser focused on supporting those hardest hit by the pandemic and getting folks back on the job.”

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