California’s jobless rate rises to 4.0% as employers hire 56,700

California’s unemployment rate increased to 4.0% in October versus a revised 3.8% in September, according to the state Employment Development Department. California gets its employment data from a federal survey of 5,100 households.

Meanwhile, California employers added 56,700 nonfarm payroll jobs in October versus a revised gain of 5,300 new hires in September, according to data from a federal survey of 80,000 California businesses.

In the U.S., employer payrolls added 261,000 jobs in October compared with 263,000 in September, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, the national jobless rate rose to 3.7% in October compared with September’s 3.5%.

Unemployment rates rose in 24 states in October, dipped in 1 state, and stabilized in 25 states, plus the District of Columbia, the BLS reported. Consider the state-by-state numbers from a year ago. “Thirty-nine states and the District had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier, 1 state had an increase, and 10 states had little change.”

Back in California, eight of its industry sectors had growth of nonfarm payroll jobs in October compared with five of 11 in September. In October, education and health care employers led the way with 16,800 new hires versus September’s 15,000.

Professional and business services had the next strongest job growth with 16,400 new hires in October versus 800 job gains in September, according to the state EDD. This sector’s hiring boom, in part, came from strong demand for accounting, tax prep and bookkeeping services.

Government employment lost 8,700 payroll jobs in October versus a decline of 16,100 in September, the EDD reported. State government hiring fell for the third straight month. Local government payrolls shed jobs for the second consecutive month.

There were 100 fewer farm jobs in October from September. The ongoing lack of rain is hammering California’s farm sector.

California’s 58 counties reflected uneven unemployment rates in October, an ongoing trend in the Golden State. High-density urban coastal counties had far lower jobless rates, for example, than did inland areas. For instance, a state-leading low unemployment rate of 2.0% in San Mateo County south of San Francisco compared with a high of 16.2% in Imperial County east of San Diego, according to the EDD’s preliminary and not seasonably adjusted labor force data.

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