California’s Unemployment Rate Increases to 6.9 Percent

California ’s unemployment rate was 6.9 percent in June, up from 6.8 percent in May, the state Employment Development Department (EDD) reported today. A year ago, in June 2007, California ’s unemployment rate was 5.3 percent.

According to EDD’s monthly survey of employers, nonfarm payroll employment in California decreased by 12,800 jobs over the month, for a total of 15,132,300.

According to the separate survey of households, the number of Californians holding jobs in June was 17,149,000. This was a decrease of 38,000 from May, and down 65,000 from the employment total in June of last year.

The number of people unemployed in California was 1,278,000 – up by 19,000 over the month, and up by 310,000 compared with June of last year.

Of the unemployed, 473,400 were laid off, 103,900 left their jobs voluntarily, and the remaining were either new entrants or reentrants into the labor market, or persons who completed temporary jobs.

In related data, the EDD reported that there were 457,193 people receiving regular unemployment insurance benefits during the June survey week. This compares with 467,563 last month and 331,747 last year. At the same time, new claims for unemployment insurance were 56,359 in June 2008, compared with 47,003 in May and 42,797 in June of last year.

EDD’s report on payroll employment (wage and salary jobs) in the nonfarm industries of California totaled 15,132,300 in June, a net loss of 12,800 jobs since the May survey. This followed a loss of 8,900 jobs (as revised) in May.

Five of the categories (natural resources and mining; financial activities; educational and health services; leisure and hospitality; and other services) added jobs over the month, gaining 8,400 jobs. Educational and health services showed the largest gain, up by 4,100 jobs. Six categories (construction; manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; information; professional and business services; and government) reported job declines this month, down 21,200 jobs. Government posted the largest decline over the month, down by 6,500 jobs.

In a year-over-year comparison (June 2007 to June 2008), nonfarm payroll employment in California decreased by 39,900 jobs (down 0.3 percent).

Six industry divisions (natural resources and mining; professional and business services; educational and health services; leisure and hospitality; other services; and government) posted job gains over the year, adding 124,600 jobs. Educational and health services showed the strongest gain on a numerical basis, adding 58,800 jobs (a 3.5 percent increase). On a percentage of growth basis, natural resources and mining showed the strongest gain, up 4.2 percent (adding 1,100 jobs).

Five categories (construction; manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; information; and financial activities) posted job declines over the year, down 164,500 jobs. Construction employment showed the largest decline on both a numerical and percentage basis, down by 86,000 jobs (a decline of 9.5 percent).

Over the month, employment in leisure and hospitality recorded the larges non-seasonally adjusted gain, up by 14,700 jobs. The gains were posted in accommodation and food service (up by 9,300 jobs), and arts, entertainment and recreation (up by 5,400 jobs). Educational and health services recorded the greatest non-seasonally adjusted loss, down by 13,500 jobs. The losses were centered in the educational services sector, which declined by 17,400 jobs at the end of the school year.

Educational and health services reported the largest gain over the year, up 54,900 jobs. The gains were centered in health care and social assistance, which was up by 38,000 jobs. The largest decrease over the year was in construction, which was down by 89,600 jobs. The losses were primarily in specialty trade contractors, down 67,100 jobs, and residential building construction, down 21,900 jobs.

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