Isn’t it wonderful how rosy single digits can sound? The loss of a few meager percentage points, or in this case .2%, signals growth, progress, and generally good news for the state of California’s economy.
“California Jobless Rate Falls to 9.6%" trumpets the headline from the Los Angeles Times, and writer Shan Li, noting that employers added 41,200 positions in February “in a positive sign for the state’s economy.”
The data is, as noted, for the month of February, meaning that all of the seasonal holiday workers have presumably long been accounted for. Coupled with increased consumer spending, people are starting to look at the California economy with something other than "Taps" playing in the background.
Our 42,100 new jobs trailed only Texas, and we’re a far cry from the 74,000 new jobs created in January 2012. Still, it’s considered one of the highest monthly gains since the alleged end of the Great Recession in 2009. In the past 12 months, California has added 293,800 jobs, a 2.1 % gain. Technology, tourism and construction were industries that saw steady gains.
Even closer to home, Los Angeles County added 39,000 nonfarm jobs causing unemployment to fall from 10.4% in January to 10.3% in February. Per the Associated Press, Colusa County carries the highest unemployment percentage in the state (25.9%) with Marin County (5.4%) being the lowest.
California might also be following national trends since 22 states saw unemployment drop in February. It bears noting, however, that of the 50 contiguous states, California’s 9.6% unemployment rate in February was the nation’s highest, a distinction we share with Mississippi and Nevada. The national picture will become clearer when the Department of Labor releases the March numbers are released on Friday.
JVSWorks will talk to you then.