California’s Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 9.8 percent

Published : Friday, January 18, 2013 | 12:56 PM

California’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.8 percent in December, and nonfarm payroll jobs decreased by 17,500 during the month for a total gain of 556,500 jobs since the recovery began in February 2010, according to data released today by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) from two separate surveys.

The U.S. unemployment rate also was unchanged in December at 7.8 percent.

In November, the state’s unemployment rate was 9.8 percent, and in December 2011, the unemployment rate was 11.2 percent. The unemployment rate is derived from a federal survey of 5,500 California households.

Nonfarm jobs in California totaled 14,398,800 in December, a decrease of 17,500  jobs over the month, according to a survey of businesses that is larger and less variable statistically. The survey of 42,000 California businesses measures jobs in the economy. The year-over-year change (December 2011 to December 2012) shows an increase of 225,900 jobs (up 1.6 percent).

Employment and Unemployment in California

The federal survey of households, done with a smaller sample than the survey of employers, shows an increase in the number of employed people. It estimates the number of Californians holding jobs in December was 16,663,000, an increase of 73,000 from November, and up 248,000 from the employment total in December of last year. The number of people unemployed in California was 1,805,000 – down by 1,000 over the month, and down by 255,000 compared with December of last year.

Payroll Employment Detail (Seasonally Adjusted)

EDD’s report on payroll employment (wage and salary jobs) in the nonfarm industries of California totaled 14,398,800 in December, a net loss of 17,500 jobs since the November survey. This followed a gain of 6,100 jobs (as revised) in November.

Three categories (construction; information; and educational and health services) added jobs over the month, gaining 16,800 jobs. Educational and health services posted the largest increase over the month, adding 9,200 jobs.

Eight categories (mining and logging; manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; financial activities; professional and business services; leisure and hospitality; other services; and government) reported job declines over the month, down 34,300 jobs. Trade, transportation and utilities posted the largest decrease over the month, down 11,200 jobs.

In a year-over-year comparison (December 2011 to December 2012), nonfarm payroll employment in California increased by 225,900 jobs (up 1.6 percent). Seven categories (construction; trade, transportation and utilities; information; financial activities; professional and business services; educational and health services; and leisure and hospitality) posted job gains over the year, adding 277,400 jobs. Leisure and hospitality posted the largest gains on a numerical basis, adding 60,700 jobs (up 3.9 percent). Information posted the largest gains on a percentage basis, up 4.7 percent (adding 21,100 jobs).

Four categories (mining and logging; manufacturing; other services; and government) posted job declines over the year, down 51,500 jobs. Government posted the largest declines on a numerical basis, down by 31,500 jobs (a 1.3 percent decrease). Other services posted the largest declines on a percentage basis, decreasing by 1.7 percent (down 8,400 jobs).

For more information, visit the Employment Development Department at

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