California’s Unemployment Rate Hits All-Time Low

California’s unemployment rate reached its lowest level in recorded history last month, the Employment Development Department Department (EDD) announced Friday. The number of Californians employed in July was 18,586,200 — an increase of 23,500 from June and an increase of 958,600 from the employment total in July 2021. The unemployment rate for the state was 3.9%, which is the lowest since record-keeping began in 1976.

The largest employment gains were in professional and business services. A full 10 out of the 11 sectors saw gains with only financial services experiencing a decrease in jobs.

San Mateo County had the lowest unemployment rate (1.9%), followed by the counties of Marin, San Francisco and Santa Clara (2.1%).

The highest unemployment rate was in the county of Imperial (14.2%), then Colusa (7.9%) and Tulare (7.6%).  

Los Angeles’ unemployment rate was 5%. Orange County’s was 2.8%. San Diego County's was 3.1%.

The EDD provided the following highlights in a press release:

  • The state has now regained 97.3 percent (2,685,100) of the 2,758,900 nonfarm jobs lost during March and April of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of July 2022, California’s private sector (non-government) has fully recovered from pandemic losses.

  • July 2022 marked the 10th consecutive month of nonfarm job gains and the 13th consecutive month of losses in unemployment.

  • Seventeen of the past 18 months showed month-over nonfarm job gains totaling 1.6 million jobs over that time period.

How does California compare to the rest of the large states? Pretty good. California’s unemployment rate is lower than New York (4.4%), Illinois (4.4%) and Texas (4%). But Florida still has the Golden State beat at 2.7%. Most importantly, California was the #1 state for job growth in July.