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California Surpasses National Unemployment Rates

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Sacramento, CA– California’s unemployment rate has surged to become the highest in the nation at 5.3% in February. This comes after recent data revealed slower job growth in the state than previously believed. Governor Gavin Newsom’s pandemic-related stay-at-home order led to the loss of 2.7 million jobs at the pandemic’s onset. While the state has since added over 3 million jobs, recent analysis shows a significant slowdown in job growth last year. The discrepancy in job numbers stems from overestimations in certain sectors, notably professional services. For instance, while initial data suggested a gain of 9,900 jobs in July last year, corrected figures indicate a loss of around 41,400 jobs.

In February, seven out of California’s 11 job sectors experienced losses, with construction hit hardest due to disruptions from severe storms. However, the healthcare sector showed resilience, particularly in roles like acupuncturists and dieticians. The state’s reliance on federal aid and a booming tech industry during the pandemic now presents challenges, with tech companies possibly over-hiring and subsequently shedding jobs. The economic slowdown has repercussions for the state budget, with projections of a multibillion-dollar deficit. Governor Newsom and legislative leaders are negotiating early actions to mitigate the deficit ahead of the April tax filing deadline.

The most recent look at unemployment numbers can be found in an earlier story that can be found here.