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California unemployment rate holds at 4.1 percent in August

Employers add 34,500 nonfarm jobs, current expansion sets new record

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SACRAMENTO – California’s unemployment rate held at a record low 4.1 percent in August while the state’s employers added 34,500 nonfarm payroll jobs, according to data released today by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) from two surveys. The job gains in August contribute to a record job expansion in California of 114 months, surpassing the expansion of the 1960s. California has gained 3,330,100 jobs since the job expansion began in February 2010, accounting for more than 15 percent of the nation’s job gains over the expansion.

The California unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in August 2019, holding from July 2019 and the same as August of last year.

California payroll jobs totaled 17,519,700 in August 2019, up 34,500 from July 2019 and up 314,200 from August of last year.

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

  • The state’s unemployment rate held at 4.1 percent1 in August, once again tying the record low unemployment rate first set in July through December 2018.
  • August’s 34,500 nonfarm payroll gain extended California’s current job expansion to an all-time record of 114 months, breaking the mark previously held by the expansion in the 1960s. Gains were mostly in the government, educational and health services, and leisure and hospitality industry sectors.
  • California added an average 29,200 jobs2 per month over the entire 114-month-long expansion - far more than the 8,000-9,000 jobs needed monthly to match labor force growth.
  • While the current record expansion reflects broad-based job gains across multiple industries, the August 1960 - December 1969 expansion was primarily fueled by manufacturing, particularly in aerospace, and higher population growth (approx. 2.7 percent annual growth in the 1960s compared to 0.8 percent currently).

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 17,519,700 in August – a net gain of 34,500 jobs from July. This followed a revised gain of 16,200 jobs in July.
  • Year-over – Total nonfarm jobs increased by 314,200 jobs (a 1.8 percent increase) from August 2018 to August 2019 compared to the U.S. annual gain of 2,074,000 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 August 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 1,700 jobs from July to 427,600. The agricultural industry has added 3,600 farm jobs since August 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 August was 18,589,300, a increase of 5,500 from July and down 34,500 from the employment total in August of last year.
  • Unemployed – The number of unemployed Californians was 790,800 in August, a decrease of 13,200 over the month and down by 7,000 compared with August 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 19,380,100 in August 2019, down 7,800 from July 2019 and down 41,500 from August of last year.

Unemployment Insurance Claims (not seasonally adjusted) In related data that figures into the state’s unemployment rate, there were 309,691 people receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits during the survey week in August compared to 308,212 in July and 306,175 people in August 2018. Concurrently, 34,775 people filed new claims in August which was a month-over decrease of 4,715.

In August 2019, there were 309,691 people receiving unemployment insurance benefits, up 1,479 from July 2019 and up 3,516 from August of last year. There were 34,775 people who filed new claims, down 4,715 from July and down 1,167 from August of last year.
MONTHLY LABOR FORCE DATA FOR COUNTIES
August 2019 (Preliminary); 2018 Benchmark
NOT SEASONALLY ADJUSTED
COUNTY LABOR FORCE EMPLOYMENT UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
STATE TOTAL 19,424,900 18,617,500 807,400 4.2%
ALAMEDA 853,400 826,900 26,500 3.1%
ALPINE 490 470 30 5.7%
AMADOR 15,220 14,650 570 3.7%
BUTTE 101,300 96,300 4,900 4.9%
CALAVERAS 21,800 21,000 810 3.7%
COLUSA 11,240 10,290 960 8.5%
CONTRA COSTA 567,600 549,200 18,300 3.2%
DEL NORTE 9,910 9,370 550 5.5%
EL DORADO 91,800 88,400 3,300 3.6%
FRESNO 454,800 424,800 30,000 6.6%
GLENN 12,880 12,090 790 6.1%
HUMBOLDT 62,600 60,300 2,300 3.7%
IMPERIAL 71,600 55,800 15,800 22.1%
INYO 8,860 8,570 290 3.3%
KERN 393,700 364,500 29,200 7.4%
KINGS 58,200 54,100 4,000 7.0%
LAKE 29,970 28,630 1,340 4.5%
LASSEN 9,840 9,420 420 4.3%
LOS ANGELES 5,101,800 4,861,400 240,400 4.7%
MADERA 61,500 57,600 4,000 6.5%
MARIN 141,900 138,500 3,400 2.4%
MARIPOSA 8,260 7,960 310 3.7%
MENDOCINO 39,780 38,350 1,430 3.6%
MERCED 116,600 108,200 8,400 7.2%
MODOC 3,220 3,040 180 5.7%
MONO 9,100 8,790 300 3.3%
MONTEREY 232,600 222,800 9,800 4.2%
NAPA 75,300 73,300 2,000 2.7%
NEVADA 49,280 47,660 1,620 3.3%
ORANGE 1,611,800 1,563,400 48,400 3.0%
PLACER 185,800 179,800 6,100 3.3%
PLUMAS 8,290 7,810 480 5.8%
RIVERSIDE 1,093,500 1,042,800 50,800 4.6%
SACRAMENTO 713,100 685,500 27,600 3.9%
SAN BENITO 31,100 29,600 1,400 4.6%
SAN BERNARDINO 962,400 922,800 39,600 4.1%
SAN DIEGO 1,596,900 1,543,300 53,600 3.4%
SAN FRANCISCO 586,900 573,600 13,300 2.3%
SAN JOAQUIN 324,500 305,800 18,800 5.8%
SAN LUIS OBISPO 137,200 133,000 4,200 3.1%
SAN MATEO 463,500 453,600 10,000 2.1%
SANTA BARBARA 217,700 210,300 7,400 3.4%
SANTA CLARA 1,063,100 1,035,200 27,900 2.6%
SANTA CRUZ 143,800 138,200 5,600 3.9%
SHASTA 74,200 70,900 3,300 4.4%
SIERRA 1,340 1,280 60 4.6%
SISKIYOU 17,750 16,780 970 5.5%
SOLANO 207,300 199,300 8,000 3.8%
SONOMA 263,700 256,500 7,200 2.7%
STANISLAUS 245,900 231,600 14,300 5.8%
SUTTER 46,600 43,800 2,800 6.0%
TEHAMA 25,720 24,310 1,410 5.5%
TRINITY 4,950 4,730 220 4.5%
TULARE 205,900 186,900 19,000 9.2%
TUOLUMNE 21,740 20,810 920 4.3%
VENTURA 417,300 401,200 16,100 3.9%
YOLO 109,200 105,000 4,200 3.9%
YUBA 29,100 27,300 1,700 6.0%