States’ Employment Growth Downshifts but Remains Healthy

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California and Nevada’s respective job markets continued their healthy year-over-year and monthly expansions as of July 2019 according to figures released by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) and the Nevada Employment, Training and Rehabilitation Department (DETR).

These monthly state-level reports are insightful for credit union leaders as the national economy continues slowing and fears of a “recession” in 2020 or 2021 are increasing among business leaders, economists, investment experts, and policymakers.

California’s July Employment Numbers
The California report shows the state’s unemployment rate dropped slightly to 4.1 percent in July while employers added 19,600 non-farm monthly payroll jobs. July’s job gain contributes to an employment expansion now 113-months long in the state, tying the expansion of the 1960s for the longest on record.

  • California has gained nearly 3.3 million jobs since the economic expansion began in February 2010, accounting for more than 15 percent of the nation’s job gains over that period.
  • California added an average 29,200 jobs per month over the entire 113-month long expansion — far more than the 8,000 - 9,000 jobs needed monthly to match labor force growth (adults willing and able to work).
  • While virtually all states have experienced sustained job growth since the end of the Great Recession of 2007 – 2009, California’s growth has been more broad-based in all but one of the state’s 11 major industries — led by gains in the high-tech jobs of professional/business services and information, along with increases in education/health services, which support an aging demographic.
  • The current expansion differs in comparison with the record expansion between August 1960 and December 1969, which was primarily fueled by manufacturing, particularly in aerospace, and higher population growth (approximately 2.7 percent annual population growth in the 1960s compared to 0.8 percent currently).
  • Wage-and-salary jobs in California’s 11 major industries totaled 17,488,600 in July — a net gain of 19,600 jobs from June. This followed a revised gain of 41,300 jobs in June.
  • Wage-and-salary jobs increased by 311,800 jobs (a 1.8 percent increase) from July 2018 to July 2019 compared to the U.S. annual gain of 2,246,000 jobs (a 1.5 percent increase).

Nevada’s July Employment Numbers
The Nevada report shows employment in Nevada is up 5,200 over the month and 43,400 over the year. The state’s unemployment rate stands at 4.1 percent (up 0.1 percent point from June) and down 0.4 percent when compared to last July. 

Although there was a slight increase in the unemployment rate this month, it continues to remain the lowest rate the state has experienced in the month of July since 2006.

However, even in a strong labor market the state’s rate of involuntary part-time workers (those who are working part-time but want to be working full-time) remains high relative to the nation.

  • Total employment rose by 3.1 percent over the year, more than double the current U.S. growth rate (1.5 percent).
  • Professional and business services have added the most jobs out of all sectors using a 12-month moving average through July over the same year time last year, up 13,100 jobs.
  • From March through June of this year, summer-related employment in leisure and hospitality realized the addition of 7,400 jobs, which is historically slightly above average.
  • Industries with the highest “net” employment gain in the fourth quarter of 2018 were leisure and hospitality (3,672), construction (2,285), and manufacturing (2,010).
  • Nevada’s largest sector employment gain was in leisure and hospitality services at approximately 22 percent compared to 10 percent for the nation.
  • In June 2019, Nevada had the 17th-highest unemployment rate in the nation — with 15 states (plus Washington, D.C.) having higher unemployment rates.
  • In the middle of 2018, Nevada experienced an increase in unemployment in the 16 - 24 age group for men and women, a contrast with the national trend where unemployment has been running steady at approximately 6 percent for women and men since early 2018.
  • Year-to-date through July, more than 204,000 employment advertisements have been posted for jobs in Nevada, an increase of 39,659 (24 percent) from the same period last year.

Another employment indicator for Southern Nevada and Northern Nevada is the "Job Flash Report" published monthly by RCG Economics. Click here to view it.

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