According to the latest report from the state Employment Development Department, California added 46,000 jobs in April – the largest monthly gain since March 2017.
While monthly job additions have varied a lot since the beginning of the year, California led all states in the monthly increase. The state has added 271,600 jobs over the last year, which is a 1.6 percent year-over-year increase – slightly behind the 1.8 percent overall national growth rate.
The state’s unemployment rate remained steady at 4.3 percent in April. Labor force declined, however, by 52,200 in April, after some solid increases in first three months of the year. Compared to a year ago, the labor force has increased by 203,900 people.
With 46,000 jobs added over the month, 9 out of 11 industries added jobs in January, with largest gains in educational and health services, up 17,300 jobs, followed by leisure and hospitality, up 12,100 jobs. Information and minting and logging posted monthly losses.
In annual comparison, 10 out of 11 industries added jobs with health services showing the largest gains, up 78,800 jobs, followed by professional and business services, up 66,900 jobs. Only financial activity posted an annual loss of 2,700.
Regionally, Los Angeles finally showed a rebound after a rocky start to 2019. Los Angeles County added 19,300 jobs over the month and 56,100 over the year. The region’s labor force, however, declined by 20,000 which is not encouraging for hiring trends going forward. Nevertheless, monthly gains were largely focused in leisure and hospitality, with a larger than usual seasonal addition. Construction also saw above-average April gains bringing the sector’s employment to the highest level in more than a decade. On the annual basis, the health and wellbeing of an aging population continues to influence large gains. Job additions in healthcare and social assistance, up 18,800, accounted for ninety-two percent of the overall sector job growth to reach a new all-time high. On the other hand, losses were focused in financial services, particularly, finance and insurance, though apparel manufacturing was down as well.
In the Bay Area, gains were broad based across the regions and most regions saw unemployment rate decline again falling below the year-ago bottom. In San Francisco-San Mateo region, up 5,000 jobs, monthly gains were led by healthcare job additions, followed by leisure and hospitality, and solid gains in information.
In the Santa Clara-San Benito region, up 6,400 jobs, gains were also led by leisure and hospitality, but also specialty trade contractors, and information. Computer and electronic product manufacturing posted 1,100 losses.
In Alameda and Contra Costa, up 6,800 jobs, similar trends followed with healthcare and social assistance leading the gains followed by leisure and hospitality.