Backlogged employment data shows California still adding most jobs

150 150 Ed Coghlan

California’s farms and ranches produce $44 billion. (Photo Credit: Violeta Vaqueiro)

California continues to lead the nation in job creation in October the California economy added 39,000 non-farm jobs in October. Employment in the retail trade industry and the leisure and hospitality sector were the leading sectors.

The October numbers represent a nice bounce back from September, when the state actually lost 2,900 jobs. The state’s unemployment rate is pointing the right direction again. It fell to and remained at 8.7% in September and October. The release of September’s data was delayed by a month because of the federal government shutdown. The numbers are derived from a federal survey of California households.

In fact, if you look at the national numbers, you realize that things are going better here in California than in many other states. One in five of all the new jobs created in the entire country happened right here in the Golden State.

By the way, if you want to know what the latest local unemployment rates are, here’s a pretty interesting map provided by Beacon Economics.

While the job growth is reassuring, the recent California Economic Summit highlighted the importance of aligning California workforce with the jobs that a 21st Century economy demands. The state’s workforce has continued to be a high priority for people involved in the Summit process.

California’s legislature approved $250 million in grant money to spur schools and industry to partner up to give students clearly defined career pathways in high skill, in-demand jobs. Here’s a video we published highlighting an interview with Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and the need to create those pathways for our kids.

Speaking of labor, the number of farm workers is a problem for California’s large agriculture industry. The state has 80,000 farms and ranches that generated $44 billion dollars in 2012. Normally, one of the major concerns for this critically important industry is water. But now it appears there is a more immediate concern: having enough workers.

Similar concerns are being expressed in healthcare. Assembly member and Workforce Committee Chair Rudy Salas of Bakersfield was talking about the shortage of health care providers and workers in the Central Valley in this article in California Healthline. Many regions in the state–especially in the inland areas of the state–are concerned about having enough qualified workers in the healthcare sector.

Some of the best innovative thinking about workforce issues and how to improve job creation and the state’s ability to compete in the global economy was happening during the breakout sessions at the 2013 California Economic Summit, which attracted 450 Californians to Los Angeles in November. Here’s a piece by our Justin Ewers that talked about three big ideas that emerged from the Summit.


Ed Coghlan

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