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California unemployment holds at record low 3.9 percent in November

Employers add 28,400 nonfarm jobs, record job expansion continues

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SACRAMENTO – California’s unemployment rate maintained its record low of 3.9 percent in November while the state’s employers added 28,400 nonfarm payroll jobs, according to data released today by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) from two surveys. The job gains in November contribute to a record job expansion in California of 117 months, surpassing the long expansion of the 1960s. California has gained 3,414,700 jobs since the expansion began in February 2010, accounting for more than 15 percent of the nation’s 22,537,000 job gain over the same timeframe.

The California unemployment rate was 3.9 percent in November 2019 the same as September 2019 and November of last year.

California payroll jobs totaled 17,604,300 in November 2019, up 28,800 from October 2019 and up 321,800 from November of last year.

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

  • The state’s unemployment stayed at 3.9 percent1 in November, maintaining a record low in a data series going back to the 1970s. The number of unemployed Californians is the lowest since 1989 despite large gains in statewide population since then.
  • California’s record low unemployment rate in November coincides with a 0.1 percentage point decline in the national unemployment rate (3.5 percent) for the month.
  • November’s 28,400 nonfarm payroll2 gain extended California’s current job expansion to an all-time record of 117 months. Eight of California’s 11 industry sectors showed growth. Topping the list are Educational and Health Services (15,000), powered mostly by ambulatory health care services, and Information (8,600), with motion picture and sound recording showing large gains within the industry.
  • Unseasonal softness in traditional brick-and-mortar wholesale contributed to a November decline in trade, transportation, and utilities employment (-2,300); and correlatively, month-over courier and messenger (i.e. delivery) employment was strong.

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 17,604,300 in November – a net gain of 28,400 jobs from October. This followed a revised gain of 32,000 jobs in October.
  • Year-over – Total nonfarm jobs increased by 321,800 jobs (a 1.9 percent increase) from November 2018 to November 2019 compared to the U.S. annual gain of 2,204,000 jobs (a 1.5 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 November 2019. 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 3,500 jobs from October to 436,000. The agricultural industry has added 6,200 farm jobs since November 2018.

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 November was 18,730,500, an increase of 53,700 from October and up 22,700 from the employment total in November of last year.
  • Unemployed – The number of unemployed Californians was 761,700 in November, a decrease of 3,700 over the month and down by 39,800 compared with November 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) totaled 19,492,200 in November 2019, up 50,000 from October 2019, but down 17,000 from November of last year.

Unemployment Insurance Claims (not seasonally adjusted) In related data that figures into the state’s unemployment rate, there were 293,595 people receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits during the survey week in November compared to 260,709 in October and 261,022 people in November 2018. Concurrently, 49,436 people filed new claims in November which was a month-over increase of 10,035 people.

In November 2019, there were 293,595 people receiving unemployment insurance benefits, up 32,886 from October 2019 and up 32,573 from November of last year. There were 49,436 people who filed new claims, up 10,035 from October and up 15,229 from November of last year.
MONTHLY LABOR FORCE DATA FOR COUNTIES
November 2019 (Preliminary); 2018 Benchmark
NOT SEASONALLY ADJUSTED
COUNTY LABOR FORCE EMPLOYMENT UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
STATE TOTAL 19,616,700 18,897,400 719,300 3.7%
ALAMEDA 858,200 835,800 22,400 2.6%
ALPINE 510 480 20 4.7%
AMADOR 14,950 14,450 510 3.4%
BUTTE 103,400 99,300 4,100 4.0%
CALAVERAS 21,480 20,770 710 3.3%
COLUSA 10,600 9,480 1,110 10.5%
CONTRA COSTA 570,600 555,100 15,500 2.7%
DEL NORTE 9,740 9,220 510 5.3%
EL DORADO 92,500 89,600 2,800 3.1%
FRESNO 451,100 421,600 29,500 6.5%
GLENN 12,960 12,340 610 4.7%
HUMBOLDT 64,000 62,100 1,900 3.0%
IMPERIAL 74,300 59,000 15,300 20.6%
INYO 8,610 8,340 270 3.1%
KERN 389,800 365,000 24,800 6.4%
KINGS 57,900 53,800 4,100 7.1%
LAKE 29,370 28,040 1,340 4.5%
LASSEN 10,180 9,810 360 3.6%
LOS ANGELES 5,203,800 4,983,100 220,600 4.2%
MADERA 61,000 57,300 3,700 6.1%
MARIN 143,200 140,400 2,900 2.0%
MARIPOSA 7,140 6,850 290 4.1%
MENDOCINO 39,040 37,720 1,310 3.4%
MERCED 116,400 108,800 7,600 6.5%
MODOC 3,130 2,960 180 5.6%
MONO 8,390 8,080 310 3.6%
MONTEREY 222,600 212,500 10,100 4.5%
NAPA 73,600 71,700 1,900 2.6%
NEVADA 48,250 46,840 1,420 2.9%
ORANGE 1,630,100 1,588,800 41,300 2.5%
PLACER 187,400 182,200 5,200 2.8%
PLUMAS 7,560 7,110 460 6.0%
RIVERSIDE 1,112,600 1,070,300 42,300 3.8%
SACRAMENTO 717,800 694,600 23,300 3.2%
SAN BENITO 31,200 29,900 1,400 4.3%
SAN BERNARDINO 980,000 946,400 33,600 3.4%
SAN DIEGO 1,613,200 1,567,100 46,100 2.9%
SAN FRANCISCO 591,500 580,000 11,500 2.0%
SAN JOAQUIN 324,700 307,500 17,200 5.3%
SAN LUIS OBISPO 142,500 138,900 3,600 2.5%
SAN MATEO 467,400 458,800 8,600 1.8%
SANTA BARBARA 218,700 211,800 6,900 3.1%
SANTA CLARA 1,072,200 1,048,000 24,100 2.3%
SANTA CRUZ 142,300 136,700 5,600 3.9%
SHASTA 74,100 71,200 2,900 3.9%
SIERRA 1,330 1,280 50 4.0%
SISKIYOU 17,260 16,400 870 5.0%
SOLANO 208,500 201,500 6,900 3.3%
SONOMA 261,800 255,600 6,200 2.4%
STANISLAUS 242,800 230,100 12,700 5.2%
SUTTER 45,700 43,000 2,700 6.0%
TEHAMA 25,820 24,670 1,150 4.5%
TRINITY 4,630 4,410 220 4.8%
TULARE 203,500 186,200 17,300 8.5%
TUOLUMNE 21,720 20,920 810 3.7%
VENTURA 424,700 410,200 14,500 3.4%
YOLO 109,200 105,200 3,900 3.6%
YUBA 29,700 28,100 1,600 5.2%