Business & Economy

What slowdown? California job growth continues outpacing the nation

Construction saw 7.3% job growth versus October of last year, thanks to increases in homebuilding because of California's strong housing market.
Construction saw 7.3% job growth versus October of last year, thanks to increases in homebuilding because of California's strong housing market.
Ben Bergman/KPCC

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California added 41,200 jobs in October, which represented the highest job growth in the nation, according to federal statistics released Friday. The unemployment rate inched down from 5.9 to 5.8 percent, the lowest level in eight years. 

“All around this is pretty strong job growth," said Esmael Adibi, director of the A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research at Chapman University.

Adibi said Friday's report is especially encouraging because it came after a relatively disappointing September report that has since been revised upwards significantly, from 8,200 to 21,100 jobs gained. Furthermore, the numbers show California is outpacing the rest of the country when it comes to job growth.

Payrolls expanded by 2.9 percent in California compared to 2 percent in the rest of the country.

“It was very broad based job creation," said Adibi. "When you look at different sectors of the economy, almost all of them have generated jobs.”

Construction saw 7.3 percent job growth versus October of last year, thanks to increases in homebuilding because of California's strong housing market. A sector called professional and business services, which includes positions such as lawyers and accountants, also had solid growth, at 5.3 percent, which is seen as particularly positive because those positions have high wages.

Adibi said there was one negative in Friday's report: 11,000 workers stopped looking for work.

“We are still seeing discouraged workers leaving the job market, and that is something alarming," said Adibi. “We want to see people who gave up looking to come back.”

The Inland Empire (+7,600), San Jose (+7,600), and San Francisco (+4,600) saw the largest job gains in the state while Los Angeles saw a slight decline (-2,600).