California regained more than a third of the 2.6 million non-farm jobs the nation’s most populous state lost to the coronavirus pandemic in March and April, state officials said Friday. the largest month-to-month loss in August, as restaurants, hotels and other hospitality businesses benefited from the easing of state restrictions designed to slow the spread of the virus. In addition, the retail trade rebounded, spurred by more jobs in clothing stores and clothing accessories. All in all, seven of the 11 industries improved in September, lowering the unemployment rate to 11%, reported the California Department of Employment Development, which revised its August data to add another nearly 1
California regained more than a third of the 2.6 million non-farm jobs the nation’s most populous state lost due to the coronavirus pandemic in March and April, state officials said Friday.
The leisure and hospitality sector accounted for half of the overall 96,000 job gain, having suffered the largest month-to-month loss in August as restaurants, hotels and other hospitality businesses benefited from the easing of restrictions by the state designed to slow the spread of the virus.
Retail has also rebounded, spurred by more jobs in clothing and clothing accessories stores.
Overall, seven of the 11 industries improved in September, bringing the unemployment rate down to 11 percent, the California Department of Employment Development reported.
The department revised its August data to add another nearly 12,000 jobs to what it previously said were around 100,000. It had previously brought its August unemployment rate back to 11.4%, but revised it to 11.2% on Friday.
Earnings, particularly in the catering, hospitality, retail and construction sectors, are all welcome news, indicating that at least some jobs are returning, said Michael Bernick, former director of the State Department of Development. of the occupation and Duane Morris attorney. It’s another good news that the gains have been reported statewide, he said.
But Bernick said the “very positive” reports contrasted with the Harvard and Brown Universities economic tracker which showed no improvement since August 1 and that local workforce boards report very few new hires. He suspects the answer is that “California employers are slowly bringing back some of their former workers, but they aren’t hiring new hires.”
The biggest loss in September was in government jobs, mainly when the U.S. Census shut down temporary jobs. Thursday was the last day people filled out census forms. However, state and local governments have so far largely avoided layoffs.
September marked the second consecutive month since March in which the unemployment rate fell below the high of 12.3% set in 2010 during the Great Recession.
The state’s nearly 16 million wage jobs were around 1.5 million fewer than a year ago, before the virus derailed the economy. California’s 8.5% decline from a year ago outstrips the nationwide 6.4% decline. The state’s leisure and hospitality sector is still down nearly 580,000 jobs from a year ago, by far the largest year-over-year loss of any industry.
The recent increase is encouraging, said Sung Won Sohn, a professor of finance and economics at Loyola Marymount University, but noted that most of the job earnings have been in relatively low-paid service jobs, “indicating that the economic impact of work earnings is not that great. “
However, the tech sector added 15,700 new jobs and predicted that California “will be a big winner” as the economy, in general, continues to shift towards remote work, online shopping and digital streaming. But the pandemic is also accelerating migration to other states with lower taxes and fewer regulations, and he said the state’s economic prospects remain uncertain.
Los Angeles County, the most populous in the nation with over 10 million residents, continued to lag behind the rest of the state with an unemployment rate of 15.1%, due to its huge reliance on service industries and entertainment and a large number of small businesses.
California, home to nearly 40 million people and the world’s fifth largest economy, lost more than 2.6 million jobs in March and April as the government ordered business closures and people to stay home for slow the spread of the coronavirus. The virus killed more than 16,800 Californians.
The state unemployment system was plagued by month-long delays, unanswered telephones and fraudulent requests, forcing the state to force a two-week “reset” in late September. He stopped processing all new requests while installing a new identity verification system from ID.me, a company based in Virginia.
The department said it has since reduced that backlog by about a third for initial complaints and about a quarter for continuing complaints, but officials previously said it could be January before the backlog is cleared.
The state has so far paid $ 101 billion in unemployment benefits to workers affected by the pandemic. About half of that is in regular state subsidies, which are now more than double what the state paid in the three worst years of the Great Recession combined.