Oroville Mercury-Register

Start of school year fuels CA job growth in August

- By Adam Beam

SACRAMENTO » Public school teachers and staff returning to the classroom in August fueled another impressive month of job gains in California as officials said Friday that the state added another 104,300 jobs on its march to erase an unpreceden­ted pandemic employment deficit.

Government jobs accounted for nearly 45% of all job gains in California in August, reflecting the start of the public school year and the billions of dollars in federal pandemic relief money that has poured into state and local government­s.

Since February, California has gained an eyepopping 110,600 new jobs on average per month, according to the California Employment Developmen­t Department. Nationwide, employers added 235,000 jobs in August, meaning 44% of those gains came in California alone.

“We still have more work to do in regaining those jobs lost to the pandemic, but this is promising progress for California’s economic recovery,” Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, said.

While California has set records for the number of new jobs added this year, the data shows it has not been enough to regain the jobs that the state lost. California’s unemployme­nt rate, which was at a record low before the pandemic, is now the second highest in the nation at 7.5%, trailing only Nevada.

That suggests that while California has added lots of jobs, even more people are still looking.

“Employment gains have not been sufficient to account for the increase in labor force in the state, so I would say we need to create more jobs,” said Sung Won Sohn, a professor of finance and economics at Loyola Marymount University who closely monitors California’s job market.

California has so many jobs to get back because it lost so many jobs at the start of the pandemic. The state shed more than 2.7 million jobs in March and April 2020, back when Newsom issued the nation’s first statewide coronaviru­s stay-at-home order.

Just over 1.6 million of those jobs have come back since then, representi­ng 62.1% of the losses. That suggests many workers have yet to return to their pre-pandemic jobs, explaining why many employers have reported difficulty finding enough workers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States