California Unemployment Falls to Record Low of 4.6% on Public-Sector Growth

California Tattoo (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)
Joel Pollak / Breitbart News

Strong pubic-sector employment growth has helped California’s unemployment rate fall to a record low of 4.6 percent as 2017 comes to a close.

California generated nonfarm payrolls growth of 47,400 in November. That was the equivalent to a 3.6 percent growth rate during the month, and set the all-time lowest unemployment rate since the California Employment Development Department (EDD) began collecting unemployment data in 1976.

November saw almost twice the average growth of 24,400 jobs for the twelve-month November-2016-to-November-2017 period, reflecting a more modest annual growth of 1.7 percent for the year.

Nine of California’s eleven industry sectors added a total of 292,400 jobs over the last twelve months. The biggest job gains were in educational and health services — up 88,100 jobs, a 3.4 percent increase; leisure and hospitality — up 56,400 jobs, a 2.9 percent increase; and construction — up 48,400 jobs, a 6.2 percent increase.

The two sectors that posted job losses over the last year were manufacturing — down 3,800 jobs, minus 0.3 percent; and mining and logging — down 300 jobs, minus 1.3 percent.

The Bay Area led the state with 16,000 new jobs in November, according to EDD. San Francisco and San Mateo counties added 10,000 jobs in November; Santa Clara County added 4,100 jobs; and Alameda County saw job growth of 2,600.

November continued the annual trend that Breitbart California highlighted in September, which is of booming government employment and slow private sector employment. California’s government-heavy educational, health services, and social assistance sectors continue to grow at about 3 percent, while the private sector-heavy information technology and professional services sectors grew at less than 1 percent.

It is unclear how much longer the government sector can be the economic engine of California, given that Gov. Jerry Brown has been warning that the state’s eight-year economic expansion will not last forever, and the next “moderate recession” could cause state revenues to fall by $55 billion over the next three years. To put the size of that challenge in perspective, the annual general government payroll and benefits budget alone is $10 billion.


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