California Continues on Employment Recovery


LOS ANGELES-The EDD’s latest numbers indicate that California’s labor market experienced a slight pullback in April, with 4,200 fewer nonfarm jobs than in March (on a seasonally adjusted basis)

However, it is important to note that the March numbers were revised upward by 4,000 positions, indicating a very small net loss of jobs, according to locally based Beacon Economics.

According to the firm, even more importantly is the pattern of upward revisions that has emerged over the past few months as the EDD consistently revises its numbers upwards from month to month. In February, for example, the EDD revised their original estimate of a 4,000 job gain to a 38,600 gain. “A revision of substantial magnitude,” notes Beacon Economics, which adds that the pattern of revisions reinforces the firm’s believe that “we are in full recovery mode and not looking back.”

Moreover, on a year over year basis, California's labor markets are clearly still moving forward, according to founding principal and economist Christopher Thornberg. Since last April, he says, the state has added more than 175,000 jobs, and netting out the Government sector, which continues to suffer job losses, the private sector has actually grown by nearly 219,000. “The temporary blip in April should not diminish the trend of overall improvement in the state's labor markets since hitting bottom.”

According to Beacon Economics, this represents the first month in the past nine in which there has been a decline in total nonfarm employment, but again, Thornberg says, “the previously upward revised data shows that California has grown at a 1.6% annual rate since January.”

In addition, according to Thornberg, despite a few “pockets of discouragement,” more workers are finding jobs. “The state’s unemployment rate dropped from 11% to 10.9% between March and April, but the labor force contracted by 4,900 positions. At first glance the drop may appear to be a result of people giving up their job search and leaving the labor market, however household employment, which is measured by a different survey than the payroll survey, shows a gain of 19,300 positions.” This point, he says, indicates that “Californians are finding more work despite the fact that some workers remain discouraged.”

In terms of highlights by industry, Thornberg says that the leading sectors this month were professional and business services as well as trade, transportation, and utilities. “Professional and business employment posted a 12,700 job increase over March, maintaining its reputation as one of the top growth sectors and a leader of California’s employment recovery,” he says. “The trade, transportation, and utilities sector posted a 5,500 job gain month over month, reflecting the strong upward trend we have seen in California exports abroad.” 

California isn’t the only state on the up and up. As previously reported, New York City added 10,200 jobs in April, but the areas seeing growth—like tech, tourism and film—are not having a huge impact on space, Eastern Consolidated’s Barbara Byrne Deham recently told And according to another recently posted article by, the Department of Labor reported that the US economy added just 69,000 jobs in May and that the unemployment rate rose to 8.2%, from 8.1% in April.

See related unemployment charts below:


Natalie Dolce Natalie Dolce, editor of the West Coast region for and Real Estate Forum, is responsible for coverage of news and information pertaining to that vital real estate region. Prior to moving out to the Southern California office, Natalie was Northeast bureau chief, covering New York City for Dolce’s background includes a stint at InStyle Magazine, and as managing editor with New York Press, an alternative weekly New York City paper. In her career, she has also covered a variety of beats Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel magazine,, Co-Ed magazine, and has also freelanced for a number of publications including and Museums New York magazine. Contact Natalie Dolce.

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