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

California’s unemployment rate drops to 7.3 percent in October 2021

Employers added 96,800 nonfarm payroll jobs

IMPORTANT NOTE: The employment data for the month of October 2021 is taken from the survey week including October 12. Data for the month of November is scheduled for release on December 17, 2021.

SACRAMENTO – California’s unemployment rate fell to 7.3 percent1 in October as the state’s employers added 96,800 non-farm payroll jobs2 to the economy, according to data released today by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) from two surveys. Thanks to October’s job growth, the state has now regained 1,828,500, or 67.4 percent, of the 2,714,800 jobs that were lost in March and April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The California unemployment rate was 9.8 percent in October 2020, 7.5 percent in September 2021, and 7.3 percent in October 2021.
California payroll jobs totaled 15,963,400 in October 2020, 16,677,800 in September 2021, and 16,774,600 in October 2021.

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

  • California’s gain of 96,800 nonfarm jobs accounted for roughly 18.2 percent of the nation’s 531,000 overall jobs gain in October 2021.
  • From February 2021 through October 2021, California has averaged more than 100,000 payroll jobs gained each month helping lead the nation in job growth in 2021.
  • Ten of California’s 11 industry sectors gained jobs in October with Professional & Business Services (+39,500) leading the way thanks to large gains in Employment Services.
  • Leisure & Hospitality (+21,500) and Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (+14,900) also did well thanks to good growth in Food Services and Drinking Places, and strong hiring in the Retail Trade sector.
  • Government (-4,000) was the only industry sector to lose jobs in October. The loss reflects reductions in city and county government, excluding Education.

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

Data Trends about Jobs in the Economy

Total Nonfarm Payroll Jobs

This 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 16,774,600 in October – a net gain of 96,800 jobs since September 2021. This followed an upward revised (+7,900) month-over gain of 55,300 jobs in September.
  • Year-over – Total nonfarm jobs increased by 811,200 (a 5.1 percent increase) from October 2020 to October 2021 compared to the U.S. annual gain of 5,774,000 jobs (a 4.1 percent increase).
Major Industries Month-over Change (Sept. 2021–Oct. 2021) Year-over Change (Oct. 2020–Oct. 2021) Total Payroll Jobs as of Oct. 2021
Professional and Business Services +39,500 +165,600 2,743,400
Leisure and Hospitality +21,500 +306,000 1,710,900
Trade, Transportation, Utilities +14,900 +93,300 3,016,100
Construction +7,500 +32,300 892,000
Education and Health Services +5,400 +85,000 2,801,500
Financial Activities +4,400 +5,300 814,300
Manufacturing +2,800 +23,100 1,270,100
Information +2,700 +42,700 559,600
Other Services +1,800 +43,500 500,100
Mining and Logging +300 +300 19,100
Government -4,000 +14,100 2,447,500

Total Farm jobs – The number of jobs in the agriculture industry decreased by 3,100 from September 2021 to 416,500 jobs in October. The agricultural industry has 7,400 more farm jobs in October 2021 than it did the October prior.

Data Trends about Workers in the Economy

Employment and Unemployment in California

This information is based on a monthly federal survey of 5,100 California households which focuses on workers in the economy.

  • Employed – The number of Californians employed in October was 17,639,100, an increase of 32,700 persons from September’s total of 17,606,400, and up 588,800 from the employment total in October of last year.
  • Unemployed – The number of unemployed Californians was 1,383,200 in October, a decrease of 41,200 over the month and down 471,200 in comparison to October of last year.
California Labor Force Month-over Change (September 2021–October 2021) Year-over Change (October 2020–October 2021)
* Civilian Labor Force (19,022,400) -8,400 +117,800
Total Civilian Employment (17,639,100) +32,700 +588,800
Unemployment (1,383,200) -41,200 -471,200

* Labor force by place of residence, including workers involved in trade disputes.

Unemployment Insurance Claims (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

The following data is from a sample week that includes the 19th of each month:

In related data that figures into the state’s unemployment rate, there were 463,257 people certifying for Unemployment Insurance benefits during the October 2021 sample week. That compares to 493,987 people in September and 1,650,946 people in October 2020. Concurrently, 59,879 initial claims were processed in the October 2021 sample week, which was a month-over decrease of 18,999 claims from September and a year-over decrease of 92,762 claims from October 2020.

California Unemployment Insurance Claims Month-over Change (September 2021–October 2021) Year-over Change (October 2020–October 2021)
UI Recipients (463,257) -30,730 -1,187,689
New UI Claims (59,879) -18,999 -92,762
MONTHLY LABOR FORCE DATA FOR COUNTIES
October 2021 (Preliminary); 2020 Benchmark
NOT SEASONALLY ADJUSTED
COUNTY LABOR FORCE EMPLOYMENT UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
STATE TOTAL 19,103,500 17,936,800 1,166,700 6.1%
ALAMEDA 809,500 769,400 40,100 5.0%
ALPINE 470 430 40 7.7%
AMADOR 14,760 13,930 830 5.6%
BUTTE 94,700 89,500 5,200 5.4%
CALAVERAS 21,660 20,650 1,010 4.7%
COLUSA 11,180 10,250 930 8.3%
CONTRA COSTA 540,700 511,900 28,800 5.3%
DEL NORTE 9,500 8,930 570 6.0%
EL DORADO 92,000 87,700 4,300 4.7%
FRESNO 443,400 409,500 33,900 7.6%
GLENN 12,930 12,230 700 5.4%
HUMBOLDT 60,700 57,800 2,900 4.8%
IMPERIAL 68,400 56,300 12,100 17.7%
INYO 8,220 7,840 390 4.7%
KERN 390,100 357,800 32,300 8.3%
KINGS 56,200 51,800 4,400 7.9%
LAKE 28,800 27,010 1,790 6.2%
LASSEN 10,340 9,910 430 4.1%
LOS ANGELES 5,027,300 4,632,800 394,500 7.8%
MADERA 61,600 57,100 4,500 7.3%
MARIN 134,300 129,700 4,600 3.4%
MARIPOSA 7,520 7,100 420 5.6%
MENDOCINO 36,750 34,900 1,850 5.0%
MERCED 117,800 108,300 9,500 8.0%
MODOC 3,450 3,290 160 4.6%
MONO 8,020 7,550 470 5.9%
MONTEREY 222,600 210,300 12,300 5.5%
NAPA 71,100 67,900 3,200 4.5%
NEVADA 47,740 45,610 2,140 4.5%
ORANGE 1,588,300 1,512,900 75,400 4.7%
PLACER 187,700 180,100 7,600 4.1%
PLUMAS 7,800 7,270 530 6.7%
RIVERSIDE 1,125,800 1,055,300 70,500 6.3%
SACRAMENTO 715,700 674,000 41,700 5.8%
SAN BENITO 31,800 30,000 1,900 5.8%
SAN BERNARDINO 988,200 925,700 62,500 6.3%
SAN DIEGO 1,553,900 1,471,000 82,900 5.3%
SAN FRANCISCO 562,100 540,200 21,800 3.9%
SAN JOAQUIN 333,100 309,000 24,100 7.2%
SAN LUIS OBISPO 132,600 127,000 5,700 4.3%
SAN MATEO 442,200 426,300 15,900 3.6%
SANTA BARBARA 220,800 211,000 9,900 4.5%
SANTA CLARA 1,034,500 996,300 38,200 3.7%
SANTA CRUZ 134,200 127,300 6,900 5.2%
SHASTA 75,400 71,300 4,100 5.4%
SIERRA 1,390 1,330 60 4.3%
SISKIYOU 17,320 16,290 1,040 6.0%
SOLANO 202,400 190,000 12,400 6.1%
SONOMA 249,300 238,700 10,600 4.3%
STANISLAUS 241,500 224,900 16,600 6.9%
SUTTER 46,300 43,100 3,200 6.8%
TEHAMA 26,380 24,900 1,470 5.6%
TRINITY 4,630 4,410 220 4.6%
TULARE 199,200 180,900 18,300 9.2%
TUOLUMNE 19,690 18,510 1,180 6.0%
VENTURA 411,900 391,100 20,700 5.0%
YOLO 107,200 102,300 4,900 4.6%
YUBA 30,500 28,300 2,100 7.0%