California’s job market continued growing in February 2023, although its labor force (those who are willing and able to work) is still -263,000 below the state’s pre-pandemic level in early 2020. Meanwhile, Nevada’s total non-farm employment remained at a record high of more than 1.53 million individuals.
The following are the latest year-over-year and month-over February 2023 trends published this week by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) and the Nevada Employment Training and Rehabilitation Department (DETR):
California’s February 2023 Employment Numbers
The California report shows the state’s unemployment rate rose to 4.3 percent in February 2023 (from a “readjusted” 4.2 percent in January 2023). For context, the state’s unemployment rate hit 16.1 percent at one point during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
California employers added 32,300 non-farm monthly payroll jobs in February 2023:
Nevada’s February 2023 Employment Numbers
The Nevada report shows employment in the state was up 7,000 jobs in February 2023 (month-over change) and 74,700 jobs from a year ago (a 5.1 percent annual increase).
Total non-farm employment (payroll and independent-contract jobs combined) remained at a record high of more than 1.53 million individuals. 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 February 2023 unemployment rate stood at 5.5 percent (from a “readjusted” and unchanged 5.5 percent in January), 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 employers added the following jobs in February 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 February 2023 if COVID-19 never impacted the economy and policy decisions, assuming no other negative financial or economic events transpired.