California unemployment

Seventh consecutive month of employment gains

Sacramento, Calif. – California’s unemployment rate fell to historically low levels in July, while adding the state’s largest job gain since February and second largest since August 2021.

“Californians are getting back to work with record low unemployment,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “We have historic reserves and we’re putting money back in peoples’ pockets as we continue to lead the nation’s economic recovery.”


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Local

Outside of the Bay Area, Placer County continues to thrive and remains among the the counties with the lowest unemployment rates in the state.

California Counties with Lowest Unemployment Rate

SAN MATEO1.90%
MARIN2.10%
SAN FRANCISCO2.10%
SANTA CLARA2.10%
PLACER2.50%
SAN LUIS OBISPO2.50%
NAPA2.60%
SONOMA2.60%
EL DORADO2.70%
NEVADA2.70%

Record Low

The number of employed Californians rose for the seventh consecutive month, the state added 84,800 nonfarm jobs, and the private sector achieved full recovery from the pandemic-induced recession:

  • In July, California’s unemployment rate dropped 0.3% to 3.9%, establishing a new record low going back to the official data series that started in 1976.
  • The unemployment rate also dropped below the pre-pandemic level of 4.1% in February 2020 and the number of unemployed Californians fell to a 33-year low in July, falling by 46,000 persons to 759,000 persons – this number has fallen for the 13th consecutive month.
  • California added 84,800 nonfarm jobs in July – the state’s largest job gain since February and second largest since August 2021, bringing the total nonfarm employment in the state to 17,618,100 jobs.
  • The state accounted for 16.1% of the nation’s new jobs in July.
  • California has recovered all of the private-sector jobs lost during the pandemic-induced recession.
  • Number of employed Californians rose by 23,000 persons, the state’s seventh consecutive month of employment gain.
  • Year-to-date, California has created 477,600 – 14.5% – of the nation’s 3,296,000 new jobs.
California payroll jobs change
Image source: California EDD

“The Real Unemployment”

Public agencies regularly use a series of measures to report on labor underutilization. Labeled U-1 through U-6, each measure takes a variety of statistics into account to report numbers. The U-6, although less used, is often considered a more reliable indicator. For example statewide, the California EDD reports California unemployment numbers at 3.9%. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) ranges from 2.5 percent (U-1) to 10.2 percent (U-6).

  • U-1, persons unemployed 15 weeks or longer, as a percent of the civilian labor force;
  • U-2, job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs, as a percent of the civilian labor force;
  • U-3, total unemployed, as a percent of the civilian labor force (this is the definition used for the official unemployment rate);
  • U-4, total unemployed plus discouraged workers, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus discouraged workers;
  • U-5, total unemployed, plus discouraged workers, plus all other marginally attached workers, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers; and
  • U-6, total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers.

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