SACRAMENTO November 17, 2017 – California’s unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent in October, while the state’s employers added 31,700 nonfarm payroll jobs, according to data released today by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) from two surveys. California has now gained a total of 2,673,700 jobs since the economic expansion began in February 2010.

The U.S. unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percentage point in October to 4.1 percent, while the nation’s employers added 261,000 nonfarm payroll jobs.

In October 2016, the state’s unemployment rate was 5.3 percent. The unemployment rate is derived from a federal survey of 5,100 California households.

Nonfarm payroll jobs in California totaled 16,860,300 in October, according to a survey of businesses that is larger and less variable statistically. The survey of 71,000 California businesses measures jobs in the economy. The year-over change, October 2016 to October 2017, shows an increase of 256,800 jobs (up 1.5 percent).


The federal household survey, done with a smaller sample than the survey of employers, shows an increase in the number of employed Californians over the month and the year. It estimates the number of Californians holding jobs in October was 18,406,000, an increase of 97,000 from September, and up 261,000 from the employment total in October of last year.

The number of unemployed Californians was 952,000 in October – down by 35,000 over the month, and down by 63,000 compared with October of last year.


EDD’s payroll employment report (wage and salary jobs) in the nonfarm industries of California totaled 16,860,300 in October, a net gain of 31,700 jobs from September. This followed a revised gain of 50,300 jobs in September.

Month-over Job Gains

Six of California’s eleven industry sectors added a total of 35,700 jobs in October. Leisure and hospitality posted the largest jobs increase with a gain of 15,300 jobs, followed by educational and health services, up 8,500 jobs, and government, up 4,800 jobs. Other sectors adding jobs over the month were trade, transportation and utilities; financial activities; and construction. One sector, mining and logging, reported no change over the month.

Month-over Job Losses

Four industry sectors reported job declines over the month, down a total of 4,000 jobs.  Other services posted the largest decrease over the month, down 1,900 jobs, followed by information, down 1,700 jobs. Other sectors posting job declines over the month were professional and business services and manufacturing.

Year-over Job Gains

In a year-over-year comparison (October 2016 to October 2017), nonfarm payroll employment in California increased by 256,800 jobs (a 1.5 percent increase).

Nine of California’s eleven industry sectors added a total of 262,100 jobs over the year. The largest job gains were in educational and health services, up 76,400 jobs (a 3.0 percent increase), construction, up 44,400 jobs (a 5.7 percent increase), and leisure and hospitality, up 37,500 jobs (a 2.0 percent increase). Other sectors adding jobs over the year were government; trade, transportation and utilities; other services; professional and business services; information; and financial activities.

Year-over Job Losses

Two industry sectors posted job declines over the year, down a total of 5,300 jobs. Manufacturing fell by 4,700 jobs (down 0.4 percent), and mining and logging declined by 600 jobs (down 2.6 percent).


In related data, the EDD reported that there were 299,272 people receiving regular Unemployment Insurance benefits during the October survey week. This compares with 312,933 in September and 323,124 in October of last year. At the same time, new claims for Unemployment Insurance were 42,114 in October, compared with 39,575 in September and 44,808 in October of last year.