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California unemployment rate falls to 4.0 percent in September, setting new record low

Employers add 21,300 nonfarm jobs, current expansion sets new record

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SACRAMENTO – California’s unemployment rate fell to a new record low of 4.0 percent in September while the state’s employers added 21,300 nonfarm payroll jobs, according to data released today by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) from two surveys. The job gains in September contribute to a record job expansion in California of 115 months, surpassing the long expansion of the 1960s. California has gained 3,348,900 jobs since the expansion began in February 2010, accounting for over 15 percent of the nation’s 22 million job gain over the same timeframe.

The California unemployment rate fell to 4.0 percent in September 2019, setting a new record low in a data series going back to the 1970s.

California payroll jobs totaled 17,538,500 in September 2019, up 21,300 from August 2019 and up 320,000 from September of last year.

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

  • The state’s unemployment rate fell to 4.0 percent1 in September, setting a new record low in a data series going back to the 1970s.
  • California’s record low unemployment rate in September coincided with a 0.2 percent drop in the national unemployment rate to 3.5 percent for the month, a 50-year low.
  • September’s 21,300 nonfarm payroll gain extended California’s current job expansion to an all-time record of 115 months. Gains were concentrated in the professional and business services industry, particularly for firms providing employment services, along with increases in the manufacturing and education and health services industry sectors.
  • California added an average 29,120 jobs2 per month over the entire 115-month-long expansion — far more than the 8,000-9,000 jobs needed monthly to match labor force growth.

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 17,538,500 in September – a net gain of 21,300 jobs from August. This followed a revised gain of 32,000 jobs in August.
  • Year-over – Total nonfarm jobs increased by 320,000 jobs (a 1.9 percent increase) from September 2018 to September 2019 compared to the U.S. annual gain of 2,147,000 jobs (a 1.4 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 September 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 10,300 jobs from August to 437,500. The agricultural industry has added 12,400 farm jobs since September 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 September was 18,626,800, an increase of 38,100 from August and down 39,500 from the employment total in September of last year.
  • Unemployed – The number of unemployed Californians was 774,000 in September, a decrease of 17,400 over the month and down by 22,900 compared with September 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 19,400,800 in September 2019, up 20,700 from August 2019 and down 62,400 from September of last year.

Unemployment Insurance Claims (not seasonally adjusted) In related data that figures into the state’s unemployment rate, there were 281,060 people receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits during the survey week in September compared to 309,691 in August and 284,790 people in September 2018. Concurrently, 35,328 people filed new claims in September which was a month-over increase of 553 people.

In September 2019, there were 281,060 people receiving unemployment insurance benefits, down 28,631 from August 2019 and down 3,730 from September of last year. There were 35,328 people who filed new claims, up 553 from August and up 809 from September of last year.
MONTHLY LABOR FORCE DATA FOR COUNTIES
September 2019 (Preliminary); 2018 Benchmark
NOT SEASONALLY ADJUSTED
COUNTY LABOR FORCE EMPLOYMENT UNEMPLOYMENT RATE

STATE TOTAL

19,564,900

18,876,300

688,600

3.5%

ALAMEDA

860,200

838,900

21,300

2.5%

ALPINE

480

460

20

4.6%

AMADOR

15,190

14,740

450

3.0%

BUTTE

103,900

100,100

3,800

3.7%

CALAVERAS

21,660

21,010

640

3.0%

COLUSA

11,050

10,310

730

6.6%

CONTRA COSTA

571,800

557,200

14,700

2.6%

DEL NORTE

9,910

9,460

450

4.5%

EL DORADO

92,300

89,700

2,600

2.8%

FRESNO

456,000

431,700

24,300

5.3%

GLENN

13,190

12,600

580

4.4%

HUMBOLDT

64,200

62,400

1,800

2.7%

IMPERIAL

72,700

57,700

15,100

20.7%

INYO

8,860

8,630

240

2.7%

KERN

392,400

368,900

23,500

6.0%

KINGS

57,900

54,600

3,300

5.7%

LAKE

29,950

28,850

1,100

3.7%

LASSEN

10,010

9,690

330

3.3%

LOS ANGELES

5,140,600

4,911,800

228,800

4.5%

MADERA

62,600

59,500

3,200

5.0%

MARIN

143,100

140,400

2,700

1.9%

MARIPOSA

8,160

7,920

240

3.0%

MENDOCINO

39,760

38,600

1,160

2.9%

MERCED

118,500

111,900

6,500

5.5%

MODOC

3,220

3,070

140

4.4%

MONO

8,780

8,510

260

3.0%

MONTEREY

232,000

224,300

7,700

3.3%

NAPA

76,100

74,400

1,600

2.2%

NEVADA

48,730

47,440

1,290

2.6%

ORANGE

1,631,900

1,592,800

39,100

2.4%

PLACER

187,200

182,300

4,900

2.6%

PLUMAS

8,010

7,640

370

4.6%

RIVERSIDE

1,103,200

1,061,400

41,800

3.8%

SACRAMENTO

717,000

695,000

22,000

3.1%

SAN BENITO

31,200

30,100

1,100

3.7%

SAN BERNARDINO

970,700

938,600

32,100

3.3%

SAN DIEGO

1,608,100

1,564,800

43,400

2.7%

SAN FRANCISCO

591,400

580,800

10,700

1.8%

SAN JOAQUIN

326,700

311,500

15,200

4.7%

SAN LUIS OBISPO

140,200

136,900

3,300

2.4%

SAN MATEO

467,300

459,300

8,000

1.7%

SANTA BARBARA

218,100

211,900

6,100

2.8%

SANTA CLARA

1,071,800

1,049,100

22,700

2.1%

SANTA CRUZ

143,300

138,800

4,500

3.1%

SHASTA

74,200

71,500

2,600

3.5%

SIERRA

1,410

1,360

50

3.5%

SISKIYOU

17,740

16,980

760

4.3%

SOLANO

208,400

202,000

6,400

3.1%

SONOMA

266,300

260,600

5,700

2.2%

STANISLAUS

244,800

233,400

11,300

4.6%

SUTTER

45,800

43,500

2,200

4.9%

TEHAMA

26,200

25,110

1,090

4.2%

TRINITY

4,780

4,600

180

3.7%

TULARE

204,500

189,000

15,500

7.6%

TUOLUMNE

21,780

21,040

740

3.4%

VENTURA

421,100

407,800

13,300

3.2%

YOLO

109,300

106,000

3,400

3.1%

YUBA

29,300

27,900

1,400

4.8%