By SETH SANDRONSKY
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) – California’s economy, the nation’s largest, added 41,400 nonfarm payroll jobs in April, down from 60,200 new hires in March, according to a federal survey of 80,000 businesses, the state Employment Development Department reported. Meanwhile, the state’s unemployment rate dipped to 4.6% in April versus March’s 4.9%, according to a federal survey of 5,100 California households.
The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.6% in April, as the national economy added 428,000 new hires. In March, U.S. nonfarm payroll employment added 431,000 jobs with a 3.6% unemployment rate. The Golden State registered 14% of the U.S.’s nonfarm payroll employment growth in March.
In March and April, job growth in California and across the U.S. appears to be slowing. Despite or because of this change, California Gov. Gavin Newsom weighed in on the state’s role as a location for employment creation.
“California continues to lead the nation’s economic recovery,” he said in a prepared statement, “getting more people back to work and off the unemployment rolls than the rest of the country. But we know more work is needed to bolster the economy and help offset higher costs that families are dealing with right now – California’s record $97.5 billion surplus is going right back into Californians’ pockets and addressing our state’s most existential challenges, fostering growth and opportunity for all.”
Rising gas prices affect household and employer spending on goods and services. In April, California again had the highest gasoline price among the 50 states and D.C., according to the California Business Roundtable.
Unlike in February and March, when none of California’s 11 industry sectors lost jobs, in April, three California employment sectors lost nonfarm payroll jobs. The construction industry lost the most, with a deficit of 13,200 jobs in April due to rain, an anomaly in drought-stricken California.
In the meantime, California’s leisure and hospitality employers led the way in payroll employment growth in April with 21,100 new hires and a year-over addition of 331,700 jobs. Next in employment creation was professional and business services with 11,400 new hires and a year-over addition of 131,700 jobs.
The state’s jobless rate for some inland counties was more than double California’s 4.6% for April. Unemployment in Colusa County registered rates of 10.1% and 11.7% in Imperial County in April.
In contrast, California’s coastal areas realized April unemployment rates below the state’s. Santa Clara County had a 2.1% rate of joblessness in April, with 1.9% in San Mateo and 2.2% in San Francisco counties, respectively.