Contact: Loree Levy/Aubrey Henry
916-654-9029
mediainquiries@edd.ca.gov

California unemployment rate maintained record low 3.9 percent in February

Employers added 29,000 nonfarm jobs as record job expansion continued

IMPORTANT NOTE: This news release reflects employment data for the month of February 2020, taken from the survey week of February 12th, and predates any of the current economic impact created by COVID-19. Data for the survey week including March 12th is scheduled for release on April 17th.

SACRAMENTO – California’s unemployment rate remained at its record low of 3.9 percent in February as the state’s employers added 29,000 nonfarm payroll jobs, according to data released today by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) from two surveys. The job gains in February contributed to a record job expansion in California of 120 months, surpassing the long expansion of the 1960s. California has gained 3,425,700 jobs since the current expansion began in February 2010, accounting for 15.0 percent of the nation’s 22,846,000 job gain over the same timeframe.

The California unemployment rate was 3.9 percent in February 2020, the same as last month and down from 4.3 percent from February of last year.

California payroll jobs totaled 17,612,500 in February 2020, up 29,000 from January 2020 and up 269,000 from February of last year.

California’s Labor Market, by the Numbers...

  • The state’s unemployment remained at 3.9 percent1 in February, maintaining a record low in a data series going back to the 1970s.
  • California’s unemployment rate has remained unchanged since August 2019 and is 0.4 percent below that of February 2019.
  • February’s 29,000 nonfarm payroll jobs2 gain was driven by growth in eight of California’s 11 industry sectors. Professional & Business Services (9,800) posted the largest jobs gain, fueled mostly by Accounting, Tax Preparation, and Bookkeeping Services. Construction (7,800) also did well with strong job gains in the Specialty Trade Contractors subsector.
  • Other Services’ large job loss (-3,000) was fueled by Personal & Laundry Services.

1. The unemployment rate comes from a federal survey of 5,100 California households.
2. The nonfarm payroll job numbers come from a separate federal survey of 80,000 California businesses.

Data Trends about Jobs in the Economy

Total Nonfarm Payroll Jobs (Comes from a monthly survey of approximately 80,000 California businesses that estimates jobs in the economy – seasonally adjusted)

  • Month-over – Total nonfarm jobs in California’s 11 major industries totaled 17,612,500 in February – a net gain of 29,000 jobs from January. This followed a revised gain of 29,100 jobs in January.
  • Year-over – Total nonfarm jobs increased by 269,000 jobs (a 1.6 percent increase) from February 2019 to February 2020 compared to the U.S. annual gain of 2,409,000 jobs (a 1.6 percent increase).
This table shows the number of California nonfarm payroll jobs grouped by major industries, with columns showing month-over and year-over change, plus total payroll jobs as of February 2020. If you need an alternative format to access this information, contact the EDD Equal Employment Opportunity Office at EEOmail@edd.ca.gov or call toll free 1-866-490-8879.

Total Farm jobs – The number of jobs in the agriculture industry increased by 300 jobs from January to 431,100. The agricultural industry has added 10,600 farm jobs since February 2019.

Data Trends about Workers in the Economy

Employment and Unemployment in California (Based on monthly federal survey of 5,100 California households which focuses on workers in the economy)

  • Employed – The number of Californians holding jobs in February was 18,756,900, an increase of 500 from January and up 210,700 from the employment total in February of last year.
  • Unemployed – The number of unemployed Californians was 759,100 in February, an increase of 5,800 over the month, but down by 68,900 compared with February of last year.
This table summarizes data from the prior text and adds that the civilian labor force (which is the labor force by place of residence, including workers involved in trading disputes) totaling 19,516,000 in February 2020, up 6,400 from January 2020, and up 141,900 from February of last year.

Unemployment Insurance Claims (not seasonally adjusted) In related data that figures into the state’s unemployment rate, there were 372,379 people receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits during the survey week in February compared to 339,026 in January and 389,449 people in February 2019. Concurrently, 41,827 people filed new claims in February which was a month-over decrease of 3,915 people.

In February 2020, there were 372,379 people receiving unemployment insurance benefits, up 33,353 from January 2020, but down 17,070 from February of last year. There were 41,827 people who filed new claims, down 3,915 from January, but up 7,234 from February of last year.
MONTHLY LABOR FORCE DATA FOR COUNTIES
February 2020 (Preliminary); 2019 Benchmark
NOT SEASONALLY ADJUSTED
COUNTY LABOR FORCE EMPLOYMENT UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
STATE TOTAL 19,528,300 18,687,000 841,200 4.3%
ALAMEDA 840,200 815,200 24,900 3.0%
ALPINE 650 610 30 5.0%
AMADOR 14,860 14,200 660 4.4%
BUTTE 98,300 93,000 5,400 5.5%
CALAVERAS 21,610 20,700 910 4.2%
COLUSA 11,210 8,990 2,230 19.9%
CONTRA COSTA 558,700 541,200 17,500 3.1%
DEL NORTE 9,620 9,020 600 6.3%
EL DORADO 92,300 88,900 3,400 3.7%
FRESNO 454,300 415,700 38,600 8.5%
GLENN 13,250 12,320 930 7.0%
HUMBOLDT 62,100 59,700 2,400 3.9%
IMPERIAL 71,500 59,300 12,300 17.1%
INYO 8,670 8,330 340 3.9%
KERN 396,000 360,000 36,000 9.1%
KINGS 58,400 52,700 5,700 9.8%
LAKE 29,100 27,430 1,680 5.8%
LASSEN 9,780 9,220 570 5.8%
LOS ANGELES 5,222,600 4,985,300 237,300 4.5%
MADERA 63,100 57,900 5,100 8.1%
MARIN 139,700 136,500 3,300 2.3%
MARIPOSA 7,200 6,750 450 6.2%
MENDOCINO 38,400 36,600 1,810 4.7%
MERCED 115,600 103,500 12,000 10.4%
MODOC 3,060 2,760 300 9.9%
MONO 8,890 8,550 340 3.8%
MONTEREY 216,800 195,000 21,700 10.0%
NAPA 73,400 71,000 2,400 3.2%
NEVADA 48,720 46,930 1,790 3.7%
ORANGE 1,623,600 1,578,100 45,500 2.8%
PLACER 188,500 182,500 6,000 3.2%
PLUMAS 7,440 6,620 820 11.0%
RIVERSIDE 1,105,300 1,059,700 45,700 4.1%
SACRAMENTO 714,700 687,800 26,900 3.8%
SAN BENITO 31,600 29,700 2,000 6.2%
SAN BERNARDINO 970,200 933,300 36,900 3.8%
SAN DIEGO 1,595,000 1,544,100 51,000 3.2%
SAN FRANCISCO 587,300 574,100 13,200 2.2%
SAN JOAQUIN 326,200 304,600 21,600 6.6%
SAN LUIS OBISPO 142,500 138,200 4,300 3.0%
SAN MATEO 463,100 453,300 9,700 2.1%
SANTA BARBARA 215,400 205,500 9,900 4.6%
SANTA CLARA 1,057,600 1,030,400 27,100 2.6%
SANTA CRUZ 141,200 132,200 9,000 6.4%
SHASTA 73,300 69,300 4,000 5.5%
SIERRA 1,310 1,220 90 6.7%
SISKIYOU 17,010 15,560 1,450 8.5%
SOLANO 208,300 200,100 8,200 3.9%
SONOMA 258,900 251,600 7,300 2.8%
STANISLAUS 243,700 227,700 16,000 6.6%
SUTTER 46,600 42,400 4,200 8.9%
TEHAMA 25,750 24,160 1,590 6.2%
TRINITY 4,460 4,140 320 7.3%
TULARE 205,500 181,900 23,600 11.5%
TUOLUMNE 21,570 20,500 1,070 5.0%
VENTURA 424,100 408,400 15,700 3.7%
YOLO 109,300 103,900 5,300 4.9%
YUBA 30,800 28,700 2,100 6.9%