According to new data, hiring in California slowed significantly in November even as the state’s unemployment rate dipped below 7% for the first time since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
The data showed that California employers filled 45,700 new jobs last month. That’s less than half of the jobs the state gained in October, but it was still enough to account for nearly 22% of all U.S. job growth in November.
California has added 977,200 new jobs since February, a feat Gov. Gavin Newsom called “an unprecedented achievement.”
But California lost 2.7 million jobs in March and April of 2020, back when Newsom issued the nation’s first statewide stay-at-home order that forced many businesses to close.
Nineteen months later, California has regained nearly 70% of those jobs. That’s compared to 82% of jobs recovered nationwide since the start of the pandemic, according to Sung Won Sohn, a professor of finance and economics at Loyola Marymount University.
While California has averaged more than 97,000 new jobs per month since February, the state still had 1.1 million job openings at the end of October, according to the new data. That number that has persisted since August as employers have struggled to find workers.
“I don’t think workers are in any hurry to go back to work,” Sohn said. “The longer they wait the higher wage they are going to get. And there are lots of jobs to choose from.”
– Ella Breedlove