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California unemployment drops to lowest point since March

Employers gain 57,100 nonfarm payroll jobs

IMPORTANT NOTE: The employment data for the month of November 2020 is taken from the survey week including November 12. Data for the month of December is scheduled for release on January 22, 2021.

SACRAMENTO – California’s unemployment rate dropped 0.8 percent to 8.2 percent in November as the state’s employers added 57,100 jobs1, according to data released today by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) from two surveys. This comes after October’s upward-revised gain of 145,600 jobs (+100 jobs). California has now regained approximately 46 percent of the 2,615,800 nonfarm jobs that were lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March and April.

The California unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in November 2020, down from 9 percent in October 2020 but up from 3.9 percent from November of last year.
California payroll jobs totaled 16,191,400 in November 2020, up 57,100 from October 2020 but down 1,336,700 from November of last year.

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

  • At 8.2 percent2 in November, California’s unemployment rate is at the lowest level it has been since 5.5 percent in March 2020. November also marks the sixth straight month the unemployment rate fell below the all-time unemployment rate high of 16.4 percent set in April and May of this year.
  • Nine of California’s 11 industry sectors gained jobs last month. For the third consecutive month, Leisure & Hospitality posted the largest job sector gain with an increase of 27,800 jobs, thanks in part to the resilience shown throughout the fall season by the Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation subsector.
  • Trade, Transportation & Utilities posted an increase of 19,700 jobs and was boosted by sizeable gains in the Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities subsector.
  • For the third straight month, Government posted the largest industry job loss with a decline of 10,200 in November due to sizeable losses in Federal Government employment.

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

Data Trends about Jobs in the Economy

Total Nonfarm Payroll Jobs

This information 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 16,191,400 in November – a net gain of 57,100 jobs from October. This followed an upward-revision of 100 jobs for a revised gain of 145,600 jobs in October.
  • Year-over – Total nonfarm jobs decreased by 1,336,700 (a 7.6 percent decrease) from November 2019 to November 2020 compared to the U.S. annual loss of 9,185,000 jobs (a 6.1 percent decrease).
Major Industries Month-over Change (Oct. 2020–Nov. 2020) Year-over Change (Nov. 2019–Nov. 2020) Total Payroll Jobs as of Nov. 2020
Leisure and Hospitality +27,800 -490,700 1,552,400
Trade, Transportation, Utilities +19,700 -140,200 2,913,200
Professional and Business Services +12,900 -98,300 2,640,300
Education and Health Services +8,500 -133,300 2,702,600
Financial Activities +2,300 +4,300 851,800
Information +900 -54,700 521,600
Manufacturing +600 -97,000 1,224,400
Other Services +300 -102,000 475,800
Mining and Logging +100 -1,100 21,400
Construction -5,800 -26,400 861,200
Government -10,200 -197,300 2,426,700

Total Farm jobs – The number of jobs in the agriculture industry increased by 20,900 from October 2020 to 356,500 jobs in November. The agricultural industry has lost 73,600 farm jobs since November 2019.

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 with jobs in October was 17,347,000, a decrease of 141,500 jobs from October’s total of 17,488,500, and down 1,386,900 from the employment total in November of last year.
  • Unemployed – The number of unemployed Californians was 1,542,100 in November, a decrease of 186,000 over the month, and up by 788,400 in comparison to November of last year.
California Labor Force Month-over Change (October 2020–November 2020) Year-over Change (November 2019–November 2020)
* Civilian Labor Force (18,889,100) -327,600 -598,500
Total Civilian Employment (17,347,000) -141,500 -1,386,900
Unemployment (1,542,100) -186,000 +788,400

* 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 1,278,200 people certifying for Unemployment Insurance benefits during the November 2020 sample week. That compares to 1,650,946 people in October 2020 and 293,595 people in November 2019. Concurrently, 168,998 initial claims were processed in the November 2020 sample week, which was a month-over increase of 16,347 claims from October 2020, and a year-over increase of 119,552 claims from November 2019.

California Unemployment Insurance Claims Month-over Change (October 2020–November 2020) Year-over Change (November 2019–November 2020)
UI Recipients (1,278,200) +372,746 +984,605
New UI Claims (168,998) +16,357 +119,552
MONTHLY LABOR FORCE DATA FOR COUNTIES
November 2020 (Preliminary); 2019 Benchmark
NOT SEASONALLY ADJUSTED
COUNTY LABOR FORCE EMPLOYMENT UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
STATE TOTAL 18,928,800 17,437,200 1,491,600 7.9%
ALAMEDA 815,200 760,200 55,000 6.7%
ALPINE 520 480 40 7.1%
AMADOR 14,190 13,200 990 7.0%
BUTTE 93,000 86,700 6,300 6.8%
CALAVERAS 20,130 18,950 1,190 5.9%
COLUSA 9,630 8,590 1,040 10.8%
CONTRA COSTA 542,200 505,100 37,100 6.8%
DEL NORTE 9,050 8,370 680 7.6%
EL DORADO 90,100 85,000 5,100 5.7%
FRESNO 440,000 402,200 37,800 8.6%
GLENN 12,480 11,730 750 6.0%
HUMBOLDT 60,300 56,700 3,600 6.0%
IMPERIAL 65,400 54,700 10,700 16.4%
INYO 8,230 7,750 480 5.8%
KERN 370,900 335,900 35,000 9.4%
KINGS 54,700 49,800 4,800 8.9%
LAKE 28,710 26,620 2,080 7.3%
LASSEN 9,650 9,140 510 5.3%
LOS ANGELES 4,986,500 4,459,100 527,400 10.6%
MADERA 60,000 55,100 4,800 8.1%
MARIN 134,400 128,100 6,300 4.7%
MARIPOSA 7,230 6,680 550 7.6%
MENDOCINO 36,010 33,570 2,440 6.8%
MERCED 112,000 101,900 10,100 9.0%
MODOC 3,060 2,870 190 6.2%
MONO 7,310 6,720 590 8.1%
MONTEREY 188,300 173,800 14,500 7.7%
NAPA 71,000 66,700 4,300 6.0%
NEVADA 46,430 43,810 2,620 5.6%
ORANGE 1,592,400 1,490,700 101,700 6.4%
PLACER 184,000 174,400 9,600 5.2%
PLUMAS 7,400 6,870 530 7.2%
RIVERSIDE 1,101,000 1,015,000 86,000 7.8%
SACRAMENTO 709,500 657,300 52,200 7.4%
SAN BENITO 30,700 28,600 2,100 6.9%
SAN BERNARDINO 970,900 893,600 77,300 8.0%
SAN DIEGO 1,582,500 1,477,300 105,200 6.6%
SAN FRANCISCO 566,500 534,100 32,400 5.7%
SAN JOAQUIN 321,500 292,500 29,000 9.0%
SAN LUIS OBISPO 131,800 124,600 7,100 5.4%
SAN MATEO 444,700 422,000 22,700 5.1%
SANTA BARBARA 213,600 201,300 12,300 5.8%
SANTA CLARA 1,042,700 989,600 53,100 5.1%
SANTA CRUZ 128,100 119,500 8,600 6.7%
SHASTA 73,100 68,300 4,800 6.5%
SIERRA 1,280 1,210 60 5.0%
SISKIYOU 15,880 14,720 1,160 7.3%
SOLANO 203,600 188,300 15,300 7.5%
SONOMA 250,200 236,400 13,800 5.5%
STANISLAUS 233,700 214,300 19,400 8.3%
SUTTER 40,900 37,400 3,500 8.6%
TEHAMA 24,400 22,740 1,660 6.8%
TRINITY 4,240 3,980 260 6.1%
TULARE 191,500 172,700 18,800 9.8%
TUOLUMNE 19,670 18,200 1,460 7.4%
VENTURA 412,600 386,700 25,900 6.3%
YOLO 105,700 99,600 6,100 5.8%
YUBA 28,300 25,800 2,500 8.7%