California's Economy Continues to Improve, According to October Jobs Report

November 16, 2012

According to the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy, the October jobs report from California’s Employment Development Department indicates that the California labor market regained momentum in October, with an increase of 45,800 jobs, and an upward revision to 32,000 jobs gained for September. The unemployment rate fell to 10.1%, and roughly 300,000 fewer Californians were unemployed than a year ago as a result of the 295,300 jobs added in that time.

Fortunately, job growth strengthened outside the Bay Area and broadened beyond the tech sector. October was a solid recovery month for Southern California, led by Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire. The East Bay in the Bay Area and areas outside the large coastal regions including Sacramento and some San Joaquin Valley counties also experienced job gains.  Further, the Bay Area’s high tech centers are likely to be among the nation’s job growth leaders when the October data is complied nationally, with very strong gains of 3.5% in the San Jose metro area and 3.4% in the San Francisco area, more than double the national growth rate. Job increases also spread broadly across different sectors of the economy, including retail, finance, construction, tourism, technology, and foreign trade. In sum, the state as a whole is now in recovery from the deep recession of recent years.

All of these gains come despite continued job losses in government jobs–8,600 last month and 37,800 for the year centered in schools and local government. Additionally, manufacturing continues to show small job losses, which is disappointing in light of the national manufacturing job gains.

The good job growth news comes right after an encouraging report from the Legislative Analyst finding that the state can look forward to possible budget surpluses depending on the strength of economic recovery. The October jobs figures in conjunction with continuing positive reports about housing suggest that the state’s budget problems may continue to recede in the future.