Virus Outbreak California

An employee, who declined to give her name, makes popcorn in preparation for reopening at a Regal move theater in Irvine, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020.

(The Center Square) – California employers added 96,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in September and the jobless rate fell to 11% versus an upwardly revised 113,800 new hires and rate of 11.4% in August, according to the state’s Employment Development Department (EDD).

The current data is from the survey week that includes Sept. 12, a snapshot of employment in the state’s $2 trillion economy.

According to the state EDD, California has clawed back over one-third of job losses from the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions that closed businesses and schools to help slow the spread of the disease.

Also according to the state EDD, 2,801,538 workers certified for Unemployment Insurance benefits in the September 2020 sample week versus 2,837,209 in August 2020 and 281,060 in September 2019. The UI data includes the 19th of each month. California has the U.S.’s largest economy.

Jori Kandra is a research assistant and Julia Wolfe is a state economic analyst with the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.

“Three states had more than half a million workers either receiving regular UI benefits or waiting for their claim to be approved: California (3.0 million), New York (0.8 million), and Texas (0.8 million),” according to Kandra and Wolfe. In the Golden State, there are 3,028,324 workers now receiving or who have applied for standard UI (15.5% of the workforce), while 3,693,588 are getting or have applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (18.9% of the labor force).

In September 2019, the Golden State had a labor force of 17,471,200 compared with 15,982,300 in September 2020, for a year-over loss of 1,488,900 jobs. However, a slight recovery in job creation is underway, with seven of the state’s 11 industry sectors adding new hires in September 2020.

As the pandemic restrictions that California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered seven months ago have loosened up, leisure and hospitality employers hired 48,400 workers, via payroll expansion for accommodation and food services employees in September. That service industry has lost 579,300 jobs between September 2019 and September 2020 due in big part to the COVID-19 shutdown restrictions that closed bars and restaurants, ending dining out and public events that draw crowds buying food and beverages.

Trade, transportation and utilities added 30,600 new hires in September 2020, with growth in retail trade, namely clothing and clothing accessory stores, a driving force, according to the EDD. Professional and business services hired 15,700 workers in September. Government employment shed 14,300 jobs, September’s highest industry total, due in part to the end of federal Census employment.

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