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California’s September 2021 unemployment rate holds at 7.5 percent

Employers added 47,400 nonfarm payroll jobs

IMPORTANT NOTE: The employment data for the month of September 2021 is taken from the survey week including September 12. Data for the month of October is scheduled for release on Nov. 19, 2021.

SACRAMENTO – California’s unemployment rate held steady at 7.5 percent1 in September as the state’s employers added 47,400 non-farm payroll jobs2, according to data released today by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) from two surveys. This comes as the state has now regained 1,723,800, or 63.5 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 holds at 7.5 percent in September 2021. It was 7.5 percent in August 2021 and 10.6 percent in September 2020.
California payroll jobs totaled 16,669,900 in September 2021, up from 16,622,500 in August 2021 and 15,874,100 in September 2020.

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

  • California’s gain of 47,400 nonfarm jobs accounted for nearly a quarter (24.4 percent) of the nation’s 194,000 overall jobs gain in September 2021.
  • From February 2021 through September 2021, California has averaged approximately 101,500 monthly jobs gains in a robust employment recovery.
  • Nine of California’s 11 industry sectors gained jobs in September. Leisure & Hospitality (+23,300) enjoyed the state’s largest month-over gain driven by strength in Performing Arts and Spectator Sports.
  • Professional & Business Services (+6,900) also posted a notable gain thanks to increases in Computer Systems Design and Architectural and Engineering Services.
  • Other Services (-3,700) suffered the largest month-over employment decline with more than half of its losses coming in Religious, Grants, Civic, and Professional and Like Organizations.

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 16,669,900 in September – a net gain of 47,400 jobs since August 2021. This followed a downward revised (-9,600) month-over gain of 94,700 jobs in August.
  • Year-over – Total nonfarm jobs increased by 795,800 (a 5.0 percent increase) from September 2020 to September 2021 compared to the U.S. annual gain of 5,688,000 jobs (a 4.0 percent increase).
Major Industries Month-over Change (August 2021–Sept. 2021) Year-over Change (Sept. 2020–Sept. 2021) Total Payroll Jobs as of Sept. 2021
Leisure and Hospitality +23,300 +335,500 1,686,300
Professional and Business Services +6,900 +154,500 2,703,700
Manufacturing +5,700 +17,400 1,265,700
Information +5,000 +46,500 555,000
Government +3,100 -900 2,463,200
Education and Health Services +2,600 +71,000 2,794,800
Trade, Transportation, Utilities +1,900 +86,400 2,996,000
Construction +1,400 +35,600 880,700
Financial Activities +1,300 +4,200 810,300
Mining and Logging -100 -100 18,700
Other Services -3,700 +45,700 495,500

Total Farm jobs – The number of jobs in the agriculture industry increased by 700 from August 2021 to 420,400 jobs in September. The agricultural industry has 16,900 more farm jobs in September 2021 than it did the September 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 September was 17,594,600, an increase of 43,300 persons from August’s total of 17,551,300, and up 1,159,100 from the employment total in September of last year.
  • Unemployed – The number of unemployed Californians was 1,418,800 in September, a decrease of 12,700 over the month and down 531,300 in comparison to September of last year.
California Labor Force Month-over Change (August 2021–September 2021) Year-over Change (September 2020–September 2021)
* Civilian Labor Force (19,013,300) +30,500 +627,700
Total Civilian Employment (17,594,600) +43,300 +1,159,100
Unemployment (1,418,800) -12,700 -531,300

* 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 493,987 people certifying for Unemployment Insurance benefits during the September 2021 sample week. That compares to 638,976 people in August and 2,801,538 people in September 2020. Concurrently, 78,878 initial claims were processed in the September 2021 sample week, which was a month-over increase of 15,325 claims from August, but a year-over decrease of 147,394 claims from September 2020.

California Unemployment Insurance Claims Month-over Change (August 2021–September 2021) Year-over Change (September 2020–September 2021)
UI Recipients (493,987) -144,989 -2,307,551
New UI Claims (78,878) +15,325 -147,394
MONTHLY LABOR FORCE DATA FOR COUNTIES
September 2021 (Preliminary); 2020 Benchmark
NOT SEASONALLY ADJUSTED
COUNTY LABOR FORCE EMPLOYMENT UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
STATE TOTAL 19,041,600 17,825,000 1,216,600 6.4%
ALAMEDA 805,200 763,000 42,200 5.2%
ALPINE 480 440 40 8.0%
AMADOR 14,710 13,870 840 5.7%
BUTTE 93,800 88,400 5,400 5.7%
CALAVERAS 21,840 20,810 1,040 4.7%
COLUSA 11,240 10,300 940 8.4%
CONTRA COSTA 537,400 507,600 29,800 5.5%
DEL NORTE 9,530 8,950 590 6.1%
EL DORADO 91,500 87,000 4,500 4.9%
FRESNO 445,000 410,400 34,600 7.8%
GLENN 12,870 12,140 730 5.7%
HUMBOLDT 60,700 57,600 3,100 5.0%
IMPERIAL 68,200 55,900 12,300 18.1%
INYO 8,250 7,840 410 4.9%
KERN 385,100 351,500 33,600 8.7%
KINGS 56,300 51,900 4,500 8.0%
LAKE 29,260 27,440 1,820 6.2%
LASSEN 9,810 9,350 450 4.6%
LOS ANGELES 5,034,500 4,621,500 413,000 8.2%
MADERA 62,600 58,100 4,500 7.3%
MARIN 133,900 129,100 4,800 3.6%
MARIPOSA 7,730 7,290 440 5.7%
MENDOCINO 36,960 35,060 1,900 5.1%
MERCED 118,300 108,600 9,800 8.2%
MODOC 3,390 3,220 170 5.1%
MONO 8,420 7,950 460 5.5%
MONTEREY 225,400 212,600 12,800 5.7%
NAPA 71,300 68,000 3,300 4.6%
NEVADA 47,730 45,510 2,220 4.6%
ORANGE 1,582,000 1,502,200 79,800 5.0%
PLACER 186,800 178,800 8,000 4.3%
PLUMAS 7,990 7,460 530 6.7%
RIVERSIDE 1,114,900 1,041,500 73,400 6.6%
SACRAMENTO 712,400 669,300 43,100 6.1%
SAN BENITO 31,600 29,700 1,900 6.0%
SAN BERNARDINO 978,700 914,000 64,700 6.6%
SAN DIEGO 1,534,700 1,448,600 86,100 5.6%
SAN FRANCISCO 558,800 535,700 23,100 4.1%
SAN JOAQUIN 333,100 308,200 24,900 7.5%
SAN LUIS OBISPO 131,000 125,000 6,000 4.6%
SAN MATEO 439,400 422,600 16,800 3.8%
SANTA BARBARA 221,400 211,100 10,300 4.7%
SANTA CLARA 1,027,100 986,800 40,300 3.9%
SANTA CRUZ 134,200 127,100 7,200 5.4%
SHASTA 75,000 70,800 4,200 5.6%
SIERRA 1,410 1,350 60 4.3%
SISKIYOU 17,240 16,160 1,080 6.2%
SOLANO 202,600 189,700 12,800 6.3%
SONOMA 249,600 238,400 11,200 4.5%
STANISLAUS 244,900 227,900 17,000 6.9%
SUTTER 46,200 42,900 3,300 7.1%
TEHAMA 26,260 24,720 1,540 5.9%
TRINITY 4,740 4,510 220 4.7%
TULARE 200,500 181,800 18,700 9.3%
TUOLUMNE 19,900 18,680 1,220 6.1%
VENTURA 410,200 388,600 21,600 5.3%
YOLO 107,300 102,200 5,100 4.7%
YUBA 30,300 28,100 2,200 7.3%