California unemployment rate below 7 percent
Hiring in California slowed significantly in November even as the state’s unemployment rate dipped below 7 percent for the first time since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, according to new data released on Dec. 17.
Even though California’s unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent in November from 7.3 percent in October, the state still has the highest jobless rate of all U.S. states, according to the data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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 percent 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 percent of those jobs. That’s compared to 82 percent 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 “continues to see a robust recovery, creating nearly 22 percent of the nation’s jobs in November and the largest unemployment rate decrease since February, there’s still more work to be done getting folks back to work and supporting those hardest-hit by the pandemic,” said Newsom, a Democrat.
White collar office jobs accounted for more than than 41 percent of California’s job gains in November, followed by gains in the sectors of education and health services and leisure and hospitality.