Once again California outpaced the nation in employment growth while simultaneously the state’s unemployment rate fell, according to Beacon Economics’ analysis of the latest release from the California Employment Development Department (EDD).
California added 59,600 jobs in April, bouncing back from the upwardly revised 5,200 jobs added in March. The state continues to create more jobs than the United States as a whole, in percentage terms. Over the past year, nonfarm jobs in California have expanded by 2.8%, compared to just 1.9% growth in the nation overall.
The state’s unemployment rate also fell in the latest numbers, to 5.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis, a rate not seen since June 2007 before the onset of the ‘Great Recession’. Not only are more residents finding employment, but workers are increasingly optimistic about their jobs prospects and have chosen to enter or re-enter the job market. The number of employed residents increased by 32,400 and the state’s labor force expanded by 24,900 in the latest numbers.
“The jobs numbers continue to show California’s resilience in the face of uncertain economic times but we will soon be faced with a far more serious crisis—a basic lack of housing,” said Christopher Thornberg, Founding Partner of Beacon Economics. Over the past 4 years the state has created 1.7 million jobs, but has only added 625,000 workers to the labor pool. According to Thornberg, this only works when there is slack in the labor market. “With unemployment at 5.3% the slack we had is largely gone, and the ability to continue to growing at this rate implies importing new workers from the rest of the nation or abroad—a difficult prospect given rapidly rising home costs."
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