Saturday, September 16, 2006

State job statistics stir hope

Despite the pundits of negativism, the fifth largest economy in the world appears to be in pretty good shape

"You know it's election season when the monthly release of state data as dreadfully dry as "non-farm payroll" figures gets the political PR machines all excited.
"In August, California added 37,000 new jobs," said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. "This is terrific news for all Californians."
He's right. California did add about 37,000 new jobs to its payroll last month, according to the latest figures released by the state Employment Development Department."

But what about the "housing crash" in California taking the state down?

"It's time to heave a sigh of relief, say economists, because the housing market downturn did not become a crisis. July was a rough month. Only about 6,600 jobs, seasonally adjusted, got added to the state's payroll that month, and economists were getting jittery.
But in August, California's labor market behaved itself, with sectors like service and retail picking up the slack created by the cooling-down construction sector. Unemployment was up, but by just 0.1 of a percentage point. Although construction lost 3,800 jobs, 10 other sectors -- including leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services -- added 40,700 jobs."

And the state's capital?

"The four-county Sacramento area saw its unemployment rate drop to 4.2 percent in August (down 0.3 of a percentage point from July), and the region saw 18,100 extra jobs join its payroll in the last year.
"Sacramento is typically one of the top-notch job markets in the state," said David Lyons, a labor market economist with the state Employment Development Department. "We certainly don't have any looming areas of concern."

Sounds like things are not so bad afterall.

Thanks to Sacramento Bee By Mehul Srivastava - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PDT Saturday, September 16, 2006


JR said...

Good work. It is nice to know the state economy is weathering the housing correction. I have seen three examples of people in my neighborhood being effected by the drop in real estate values: 1 took $70,000 less for the sale of his home, and 2 others are giving their homes back to the lenders, as the value exceeds their loan amounts.
I have to remind myself that at least all of us are still gainfully employed, and we can afford to put food on the table and a roof over our heads (even a leased one). Imagine how bad the housing bubble deflation would be if unemployment was at 10% and our economy was in the tank.

rmbmsp said...

My advice to anyone who is looking at employment/unemployment, GDP or any gov't produced numbers on the economy, is to take them with a grain a salt. Go and look at the actual data and I will bet you will end up scratching your head at how to reconcile this article and what the data said match. For instance from July to August the workforce in CA declined by 250K people (where did they go?). Employment was down by 100K people and unemployment was down by 51K. The kicker is the unemployment rate was down from 5.1% to 4.9% (all unadjusted). The adjusted numbers are workforce -100K, employment -135K, and unemployment +10K. How does this add up to California creating 47K new jobs. Your guess is as good as mine. I'm not making a political statement, I am just saying beware of what the gov't reports, they can cook any of these number anyway they want. If you’re a real glutton for punishment look up the difference between U1 and U3 to see what state the job market is in.

Dr. Brightside said...

I agree. Government numbers can be misleading. It's best to look at the trend and not one month. But it least it's in a positive direction.

Anonymous said...

this does not sound so bright to me