CA and NV: More Job Gains Amid Very Messy Labor Markets

Restaurant worker

Data released today shows California and Nevada experienced another month of employment gains as both states’ labor markets continue trudging forward under one of the messiest job situations in modern history.

(Register for the 2021 “Your Economy—Your Credit Union” virtual conference on Tuesday, July 20th!)

Some businesses reportedly cannot find workers as a lack of individuals “willing and able” to work (the labor force) persists compared to pre-pandemic times. State and federal stimulus payments, career transitions, impromptu retirement plans, and child care issues are just some of the factors impacting the entire labor market and individual workers as they adjust.

“There is still a substantial jobs deficit compared to pre-pandemic levels, and the state’s economy is lagging the national recovery,” said Taner Osman, research manager at Beacon Economics and UC Riverside's Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. “At this juncture, with the imminent expiration of extended unemployment benefits, the state cannot afford any slowdown associated with a surge in new COVID cases.”

The following are the latest year-over-year and monthly June figures released this week by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) and the Nevada Employment, Training and Rehabilitation Department (DETR):

California’s June 2021 Employment Numbers
The California report shows the state’s unemployment rate held steady at 7.7 percent in June 2021 (remaining the same from a “readjusted” 7.7 percent in May 2021). It is down from its 16 percent peak in April 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic recession hit the economy.

Employers added 73,500 non-farm monthly payroll jobs in June:

  • California’s labor force (pool of individuals willing and able to work) shot up by more than 85,600 in June 2021 from a year ago and now sits at 18.9 million. However, it still remains about -500,000 below its pre-pandemic level in February 2020 of 19.4 million.
  • California has now regained 54 percent (1.47 million jobs) of the approximate 2.7 million jobs lost during March and April of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic recession transpired.
  • The total number of Californians holding jobs (non-farm payroll, agriculture related, independent contractor/freelancers) was more than 17.4 million, which is up 1.28 million from the combined “total” employment this time last year.
  • Non-farm company payroll jobs now total more than 16.4 million. These jobs (a subset of “total” jobs) increased by 805,000 (5.2 percent) from June 2020 to June 2021 compared to a U.S. annual gain of 5.7 percent (the state is playing catch-up to the rest of the nation after suffering from above-average unemployment for many months).
  • Eight of California’s 11 industry sectors gained jobs in June. Leisure and hospitality (44,400) continued to have the state’s largest month-over increase for the fifth consecutive month thanks to restaurants hiring and increased tourism.
  • “Other” services (7,200) also performed well with increases in personal and laundry services.
  • Construction (-3,000) suffered the largest month-over job reduction due to losses in building foundation and exterior contractors.

Nevada’s June 2021 Employment Numbers
The Nevada report shows employment in Nevada is up 15,400 jobs in June 2021, but it's still down by -117,600 jobs compared to April 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic recession hit the economy. It’s a large gap continuing to close very slowly as individuals re-enter the labor force (pool of people saying they are willing and able to work).

The state’s June 2021 unemployment rate stands at 7.8 percent, remaining the same from a “readjusted” 7.8 percent in May but still up from 3.7 percent in February of 2020 (pre-pandemic economy). The state’s total number of jobs is up 138,700 from June 2020 to June 2021 (a 12 percent increase), with total employment now standing at nearly 1.34 million.

The state added jobs for the 14th consecutive month in June:

  • Las Vegas employment increased by 6,500 jobs (0.7 percent) from May 2021 (month before) and by 99,200 jobs (12 percent) since June 2020.
  • Reno/Sparks regional employment increased by 800 jobs (0.3 percent) from May 2021 (month before) and by 19,500 jobs (9 percent) since June 2020.
  • Carson City employment increased by zero jobs (0 percent) from May 2021 (month before) and by 1,100 jobs (4 percent) since June 2020.
  • The current June data shows a “first look” at the state’s economic recovery since it has fully relaxed business restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Job growth in leisure and hospitality doubled from last month, increasing employment in this sector by 4 percent.
  • Food service continues to contribute to strong growth, with this sector now having more total employment than the accommodation industry (in addition to being nearly fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels).
  • Although most industries in the state continue to recover, a few industries, most notably health care and social assistance, lost employment in June.
  • While June’s data is positive, there is still significant disruption to the economy as businesses and the labor force seek to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

Pin It