California’s unemployment rate climbs to 4.9%, as job growth slows



(The Center Square) – California’s unemployment rate rose to 4.9% in November, up 0.1 percentage points from October, as employers registered a month-over increase of 9,300 new hires versus October’s downward revised month-over gain of 34,500 jobs, according to the California Employment Development Department (EDD).

“With a modest gain in payroll jobs,” Professor Jeffrey Michael director, public policy programs at University of the Pacific, told The Center Square via email, “and an uptick in the unemployment rate, the California job market is stagnant at best and continues to underperform the overall resiliency of the U.S. job market. While unemployment in the U.S. declined 0.2% in November, California increased 0.1% and now has an unemployment rate 1.2 percentage points above the U.S.”

Six of 11 of California’s industrial sectors added nonfarm payroll jobs in November versus 10 of 11 with job growth in October. For the second consecutive month, private education and health services topped the job creation list in November with 10,500 new hires versus October’s 13,200. November’s employment gains were from nursing and residential care facilities and social assistance industry groups, according to the EDD.

Leisure and hospitality employers added 7,900 new hires in November compared with 5,100 in October. This sector has a year-over gain of 93,400 jobs, according to the EDD.

California’s construction sector added 6,500 payroll jobs in November compared with 4,500 new hires in October. Construction employers have a year-over gain of 33,800 jobs, according to the EDD. The Federal Reserve Bank’s monetary policy of hiking interest rates has had an impact on construction activity, which relies upon borrowed money.

Manufacturing employers shed 100 jobs in November, with 11,110 year-over layoffs. Deposits of lithium in Imperial Valley near San Diego could increase the production of batteries that store clean energy and power electric vehicles, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“We’ve been all-in on Lithium Valley,” the governor said in a statement, “building up a global hub for clean energy and making sure that local communities benefit from this once-in-a-generation opportunity. This is further evidence that California is poised to become the world’s largest source of batteries for our cars, homes, and businesses.”

Imperial County’s 18.7 % unemployment rate was the highest in the state in November. Meanwhile, agricultural employers had 12,300 more farm jobs in November 2023 versus November a year ago, the EDD reported.

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