SACRAMENTO March 3, 2017 – California’s unemployment ­­rate fell to 5.1 percent and the state’s employers added 9,700 nonfarm payroll jobs in January, according to data released today by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) from two surveys. With January’s job gains, the state has gained a total of 2,465,100 jobs since the economic expansion began in February 2010.

The U.S. unemployment rate increased 0.1 percentage point in January to 4.8 percent, with employers nationwide adding 227,000 nonfarm payroll jobs.

In December, the state’s unemployment rate was 5.2 percent, and in January 2016, the unemployment rate was 5.7 percent. The unemployment rate is derived from a federal survey of 5,500 California households.

Nonfarm jobs in California totaled 16,647,600 in January, according to a survey of businesses that is larger and less variable statistically. The survey of 58,000 California businesses measures jobs in the economy. The year-over change, January 2016 to January 2017, shows an increase of 330,500 jobs (up 2.0 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 January was 18,176,000, an increase of 11,000 from December, and up 267,000 from the employment total in January of last year.

The number of unemployed Californian’s was 986,000 in January – down by 13,000 over the month, and down by 90,000 compared with January of last year.


EDD’s payroll employment report (wage and salary jobs) in the nonfarm industries of California totaled 16,647,600 in January, a net gain of 9,700 jobs from December. This followed a revised gain of 4,400 jobs in December.

Month-over Job Gains

Seven of California’s eleven industry sectors added a total of 42,700 jobs in January. Educational and health services posted the largest jobs increase, with a gain of 19,800 jobs, followed by professional and business services, with a gain of 12,500 jobs. Other sectors adding jobs over the month were manufacturing; information; financial activities; other services; and government.

Month-over Job Losses

Four industry sectors (mining and logging; construction; trade, transportation and utilities; and leisure and hospitality) reported job declines over the month, down a total of 33,000 jobs. Trade, transportation and utilities posted the largest decrease over the month, down by 21,100 jobs.

Year-over Job Gains

In a year-over-year comparison (January 2016 to January 2017), nonfarm payroll employment in California increased by 330,500 jobs (a 2.0 percent increase).

Nine of California’s eleven industry sectors added a total of 338,200 jobs year-over. The largest job gains on a numerical basis were in educational and health services, up 92,600 jobs (a 3.7 percent increase), and government, up 59,700 jobs (a 2.4 percent increase). Other sectors adding jobs over the year were construction; trade, transportation and utilities; information; financial activities; professional and business services; leisure and hospitality; and other services.

Year-over Lob Losses

Two industry sectors (mining and logging, and manufacturing) posted job declines over the year, down a total of 7,700 jobs. Manufacturing employment fell by 4,800 jobs (down 0.4 percent), while mining and logging was down by 2,900 jobs (an 11.0 percent decrease).


In related data, the EDD reported that there were 386,875 people receiving regular Unemployment Insurance benefits during the January survey week. This compares with 367,944 in December and 410,293 in January of last year. At the same time, new claims for Unemployment Insurance were 62,201 in January, compared with 52,953 in December and 53,682 in January of last year.