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California's July Jobs Report: Ehhhh...

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio file photo
 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio file photo

California added 27,000 jobs in July – but that wasn’t enough to move the state’s unemployment rate. That’s better than the previous two months but not even half the 60,000 monthly job gains from earlier this year.

The state’s unemployment rate in July held steady at 7.4 percent. That’s well below California’s nine percent unemployment rate from a year earlier – but still above the national rate of 6.2 percent.

It wasn’t the best jobs report – or the worst, says economist Esmael Adibi from Chapman University: “The good news is, if you want to focus on that, is that job creation at 2.1 percent – that’s what we got for this month, year over year – is slightly better than the nation.”

That wasn’t the case a few years back.

“But the bad news is that at this pace of job creation, the unemployment rate is not going to drop as fast as it should,” Adibi says.

In fact, the state’s labor force isn’t really growing at all – which means a lot of Californians still aren’t actively looking for work. When they do, that could send unemployment up again – unless the state adds enough new jobs to keep up.

Adibi says job growth needs to be in the 2.5-3.0 percent range to make a significant dent in the unemployment rate.


Sacramento Region Unemployment Rate Rises
By: Steve Milne

Unemployment is up in the four-county Sacramento area, according to state figures released Friday. The jobless rate increased from 6.9 percent in June to 7.4 percent in July.

Most of the job losses were in the "government" sector, which includes education. That sector lost 13,800 jobs between June and July. The historical average is around 10,200. 

"So it was a little more. Nothing that seems out of the ordinary. Very seasonal type of numbers. We'll see the rebound here in the upcoming months as schools get back into session and the staff and administration and everybody get going again," says George Marley with the state Employment Development Department.

"Professional and business services" was the top industry job gainer, adding 2,000 jobs. Historically, that sector adds 1,500 jobs from June to July.