California has regained more than a third of the 2.6 million nonfarm jobs that the country’s most populous state lost due to the coronavirus pandemic in March and April, government officials said Friday. The leisure and hospitality sector accounted for half of the total gain of 96,000 jobs, after experiencing the biggest month-on-month loss in August as restaurants, hotels and other hotel businesses have benefited from the state’s easing of restrictions intended to slow down the spread of the virus. Retail also came back, spurred on by more jobs in clothing and clothing stores. In all, seven of the 11 industrial sectors improved in September, dropping the vacancy rate to 1
California has recovered more than a third of the 2.6 million non-agricultural jobs that the country’s most populous state lost due to the coronavirus pandemic in March and April, government officials said Friday.
The leisure and hospitality sector accounted for half of the total gain of 96,000 jobs after experiencing the biggest month-on-month loss in August, as restaurants, hotels and other hotel businesses benefited from the state’s easing of restrictions designed to curb the spread of the virus .
Retail also rose again, spurred by more jobs in clothing and clothing stores.
In all, seven of the 11 industrial sectors improved in September and the vacancy rate fell to 11%, California’s employment development department reported.
The department revised its figures in August to add an additional nearly 12,000 jobs to what it previously said was approx. 100,000 jobs added at the time. It had previously reported unemployment in August at 11.4%, but on Friday revised it to 11.2%.
The gains, especially in the restaurant, hotel, retail and construction sectors, are all welcome news, indicating that at least some jobs are returning, said Michael Bernick, former director of the state employment development department and a lawyer at Duane Morris. It is further good news that the gains were reported everywhere, he said.
But Bernick said the “very positive” reports contradict the economic tracker from Harvard and Brown universities, which showed no improvement since Aug. 1, and that local labor agencies report very little about new hires. He suspects the answer is that “employers in California are slowly bringing back some of their former employees but not engaging in new hires.”
The biggest loss in September was in public jobs, primarily when the U.S. Census closed temporary jobs. Thursday was the last day for people to fill out their census forms. However, state and local governments have so far largely avoided layoffs.
September marked the second month in a row since March that the unemployed fell below the 12.3% flood mark set in 2010 during the Great Recession.
The state’s nearly 16 million wage jobs were about 1.5 million fewer than a year ago before the virus deterred the economy. California’s drop of 8.5% from a year ago exceeds the 6.4% drop for the nation as a whole. The state’s leisure and hospitality sector is still down to almost 580,000 jobs from the year before, which is the largest year-over-year loss in any sector.
The recent increase is encouraging, said Sung Won Sohn, professor of economics and economics at Loyola Marymount University, but he noted that most job gains were in relatively low-paid service work, “indicating that the economic impact of job gains is not so great. . ”
However, the technology sector added 15,700 new jobs, and he predicted that California “will be a big winner” as the economy generally continues to shift to telecommuting, online shopping and digital streaming. But the pandemic is also accelerating migration to other states with lower taxes and fewer rules, and he said the state’s economic prospects remain uncertain.
Los Angeles County, the country’s most populous with more than 10 million inhabitants, continued to delay the rest of the state with a 15.1% unemployment rate due to its heavy reliance on the service and entertainment industry and a large number of minority-owned 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 when the government ordered businesses to close and people to stay home to curb the spread of coronavirus. The virus has killed more than 16,800 Californians.
The state’s unemployment system has been besieged by month-long delays, missed calls and false claims that have forced the state to impose a two-week “reset” in late September. It stopped processing all new claims while installing a new identity verification system by ID.me, a Virginia-based company.
The department said it has since reduced this backlog by approx. one third for initial requirements and approx. a quarter for continued claims, but officials said earlier it could be January before the backlog is removed.
The state has so far paid $ 101 billion in unemployment benefits to workers affected by the pandemic. About half of this is in regular government benefits, which are now more than double what the state paid in the three worst years during the Great Recession combined.