(The Center Square) – In the Golden State, an employment recovery from the deep plunge during the COVID-19 lockdown is continuing, though decelerating.
The California economy gained 73,500 nonfarm payroll jobs in June compared with May’s revised employment gains of 94,700, according to the state Employment Development Department. June’s unemployment rate of 7.7% matches May’s downward revised rate of 7.7%.
This June’s U.S. unemployment rate is 5.9%. California’s unemployment rate a year ago was 14.1%.
“Prior to the pandemic,” according to an EDD statement, “a 98,500-job increase in April 2016 was California’s single largest job gain on record since 1990. The state has exceeded this gain in six of the 14 months of the ongoing recovery as of June, including three times in 2021.”
The spread of the Delta variant on the rate of future job growth is unclear.
In June 2021, eight of California’s 11 industry sectors grew payroll jobs versus the nine sectors with growth in May. Leisure and hospitality employers added 44,000 new hires in June, and 265,500 jobs between June 2020 and June 2021.
Government employment registered the second-fastest growing sector in June, adding 7,400 new hires, up 400 jobs during the 12 months ending in June 2021.
Other services increased by 7,200 jobs in June and 40,600 new hires between June 2020 and June 2021. Education and health services added 6,000 jobs in June and 93,000 new hires during the year ending in June 2021
The construction sector lost 3,000 jobs in June, but has gained 27,300 new hires between June 2020 and June 2021. Job losses in building foundation and exterior contractors drove this June’s decline, according to the EDD.
In June’s sample week, 592,867 people certified for Unemployment Insurance benefits versus 569,512 Californians in May’s comparable seven-day period.
The Senate recently confirmed Julie Su as next U.S. Labor Secretary. She is the former California Labor Secretary. Tom Manzo is the president of the California Business and Industrial Alliance
“Under Su’s watch, countless Californians were left waiting for desperately needed benefits, while prison inmates raked in fraudulent unemployment insurance payments,” he said in a statement after Su’s Senate confirmation. “Problems continue to plague the state’s UI system to this day.
“Does that sound like the track record of someone who deserves a promotion? The status quo in California is indefensible, and with Su at the DOL it could soon be exported to the rest of the country.”