California’s unemployment rate decreases

SACRAMENTO
May 22, 2009 9:15am
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•  April’s estimate is 11.0 percent

•  Down 0.2 percentage point from March


California’s unemployment rate was 11.0 percent in April, and nonfarm payroll jobs declined by 63,700 during the month, according to data released Friday by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) from two separate surveys.

The U.S. unemployment rate increased in April, rising to 8.9 percent.

In March, the state’s unemployment rate was 11.2 percent, and in April 2008, the unemployment rate was 6.6 percent. The unemployment rate is derived from a federal survey of 5,500 California households.

Here are the April Central Valley unemployment rates, followed by March’s, which are in parentheses. All are estimates:

• Butte County, 12.4 percent; (13.3 percent)

• Fresno County, 15.5 percent; (17.0 percent)

• Kern County, 14.8 percent; (15.9 percent)

• Kings County, 15.3 percent; (16.7 percent)

• Madera County, 14.6 percent; (15.3 percent)

• Merced County, 18.3 percent; (20.4 percent)

• Sacramento County, 10.8 percent; (11.3 percent)

• San Joaquin County, 15.6 percent; (16.4 percent)

• Stanislaus County, 16.8 percent; (17.5 percent)

• Tulare County, 15.4 percent; (17.7 percent)

• Yolo County 10.7 percent; (12.3 percent)

• Yuba County, 17.9 percent; (19.1 percent)

With 26.9 percent of its adults out of work and looking for a job, Imperial County has California’s highest jobless rate in the report for April.

Marin County had the state’s lowest rate – 7.2 percent. That’s down 0.2 percentage point from March.

"While it is encouraging to see California’s unemployment rate level off this month, we’re still experiencing job loss and have a long way to go on the road to economic recovery," says Gov. Arnhold Schwarzenegger in a written statement. "As state and federal stimulus plans further take effect in California, I will continue to ensure we are doing everything possible to create and protect jobs – while also ensuring California’s unemployed workers have access to assistance and resources during these difficult times."

Nonfarm jobs in California totaled 14,411,400 in April, a decrease of 63,700 over the month, according to a survey of businesses that is larger and less variable statistically. The survey of 42,000 California businesses measures jobs in the economy. The year-over-year change (April 2008 to April 2009) shows a decrease of 706,700 jobs (down 4.7 percent).

The federal survey of households, done with a smaller sample than the survey of employers, shows a decrease in the number of employed people. It estimates the number of Californians holding jobs in April was 16,565,000, an increase of 42,000 from March, but down 544,000 from the employment total in April of last year.

The number of people unemployed in California was 2,057,000 – down by 35,000 over the month, but up by 843,000 compared with April of last year.

EDD’s report on payroll employment (wage and salary jobs) in the nonfarm industries of California totaled 14,411,400 in April, a net loss of 63,700 jobs since the March survey. This followed a loss of 61,700 jobs (as revised) in March.

Three categories (natural resources and mining; other services; and government) added jobs over the month, gaining 9,700 jobs. Eight categories (construction; manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; information; financial activities; professional and business services; educational and health services; and leisure and hospitality) reported job declines this month, down 73,400 jobs. Trade, transportation and utilities posted the largest decline over the month, down by 18,900 jobs.

In a year-over-year comparison (April 2008 to April 2009), nonfarm payroll employment in California decreased by 706,700 jobs (down 4.7 percent).

One industry division, educational and health services, posted job gains over the year, adding 19,900 jobs (a 1.2 percent increase).

Ten categories (natural resources and mining; construction; manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; information; financial activities; professional and business services; leisure and hospitality; other services; and government) posted job declines over the year, down 726,600 jobs. Trade, transportation and utilities employment showed the largest decline on a numerical basis, down by 189,000 jobs (a decline of 6.5 percent). Construction posted the largest decline on a percentage basis, down by 18.4 percent (a decrease of 149,900 jobs).

In related data, the EDD reported that there were 853,607 people receiving regular unemployment insurance benefits during the April survey week. This compares with 858,778 last month and 492,000 last year. At the same time, new claims for unemployment insurance were 72,718 in April 2009, compared with 79,979 in March and 52,316 in April of last year.


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