California’s job market grew steadily in October 2023, although its labor force (those willing and able to work) is still -217,000 below the state’s pre-pandemic level in early 2020. Meanwhile, Nevada’s job base kept growing as total non-farm employment stood at nearly 1.61 million workers — yet more residents are looking for work today compared to 10 months ago.
The following are the latest year-over-year and month-over October 2023 trends published recently by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) and the Nevada Employment Training and Rehabilitation Department (DETR):
California’s October 2023 Employment Numbers
The California report shows the state’s unemployment rate rose to 4.8 percent in October 2023 (from a “readjusted” 4.7 percent in the month prior). For context, the state’s unemployment rate hit 16.1 percent at one point during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
California employers added 40,200 non-farm monthly payroll jobs in October 2023:
Nevada’s October 2023 Employment Numbers
The Nevada report shows employment in the state was up 5,500 jobs in October 2023 (month-over change) and 52,200 jobs from a year ago (3.4 percent annual increase) — which is non-farm payroll company/organization growth.
Total non-farm Nevada employment — which includes non-farm payroll, agriculture related, and independent contractor/freelance jobs altogether — stood at nearly 1.61 million individuals in October 2023. (When it comes to payroll employment specifically, June 2022 was the first month Nevada’s job market finally closed the gap inflicted since the COVID-19 recession in 2020.)
Nevada’s October 2023 unemployment rate stood at 5.4 percent (from a “readjusted” and unchanged 5.4 percent the month before), which is up from 3.7 percent in February of 2020 (pre-pandemic economy). For context, the state’s unemployment rate hit 28.2 percent at one point during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
At the local/regional level, Nevada’s non-farm company payroll employers added, subtracted, or experienced the following trends in October 2023:
Ongoing Labor Market Perspective
These California and Nevada job market recoveries don’t account for lost ground and opportunity costs coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Specifically in California, the state’s labor force — the pool of individuals willing and able to work — shrunk drastically due to public health restrictions and concerns, policy and employer decisions, the volatile business environment, federal and state financial relief, and worker fluidity in a tight labor market.
Essentially, both California and Nevada job markets may have been even more robust by October 2023 if COVID-19 never impacted the economy and policy decisions, assuming no other negative financial or economic events transpired.