One common mistake when measuring employment or unemployment is to highlight a month by month comparison. These numbers are not an exact science, so the variance between two consecutive months can swing significantly in such short time frames. But here’s a full year comparison worth pondering:
In the last 12 months, labor force growth in the other 49 states has averaged a rate TWELVE TIMES HIGHER than vaunted California.
NOTE: “Labor force” is the government’s tally of people working, or looking for work.
In essence, CA seems to discourage people from looking for work in the Golden State. Others are leaving the state for better job prospects, or to reduce living costs. Net result – a static work force with little ability to meet employers’ additional personnel needs.
While CA is producing many new jobs, more and more people are dropping out of the state’s labor force. Even with increasing jobs, CA has a July state unemployment rate of 4.2%, while the national unemployment rate is 3.9%. CA unemployment is 8.8% higher than the average rate in the other 49 states.
“California’s labor force grew only 16,900 over the year ending July 2018, or 0.1% growth. The US as a whole grew 1.8 million – a 1.1% expansion. While workers elsewhere continue to return to the workforce, California’s low rate has implications for continued growth in the state, including the ability to sustain job growth if fewer workers are available and continued effects on state and local budgets for higher social program spending compared to other states.”
Moreover, CA is still the “gig economy,” with a high rate of part-time workers compared to most other states. Remember, if you work at least one hour a week, you are considered “employed.”