NV’s Job Market Recovers 100%, but CA Plodding at 94%

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Two-and-a-half years since the COVID-19 pandemic recession devastated the economy, total non-farm payroll employment in California has recovered nearly 94 percent of jobs lost in the labor market. However, Nevada’s job market just surpassed 100 percent last month, reaching a historical record high and more than recovering from its losses.

These recoveries don’t account for lost ground and opportunity costs coming out of the pandemic. From mid-2020 to mid-2022, the state’s labor force — the pool of individuals willing and able to work — has shrunk due to public health restrictions and concerns, policy and employer decisions, the volatile business environment, federal and state financial relief, and worker fluidity in a tight labor market.

State job markets may have been even more robust by 2022 if COVID-19 never impacted the economy and policy decisions, assuming no other negative financial or economic events transpired.

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

California’s June 2022 Employment Numbers
The California report shows the state’s unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent in June 2022 (from a “readjusted” 4.3 percent in May 2022). After 26 months, this unemployment rate is down from its 16.1 percent peak in May 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic recession hit the economy.

(Related story: Most CA Metro Job Markets Won’t Fully Recover Until Mid-2023)

California employers added 19,900 non-farm monthly payroll jobs in June:

  • California’s labor force (pool of individuals willing and able to work) shot up by 342,800 in June 2022 from a year ago and now sits at more than 19.36 million. However, it still remains approximately -40,000 below its pre-pandemic level in February 2020 of nearly 19.4 million.
  • California has now regained nearly 94 percent (more than 2.58 million jobs) of the approximate 2.76 million non-farm payroll 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 18.54 million, which is up nearly 1.03 million from the combined total employment this time last year.
  • Non-farm company payroll jobs now total more than 17.5 million. These jobs (a subset of “total” jobs) increased by 850,600 (5.1 percent) from June 2021 to June 2022 compared to a U.S. annual gain of 4.3 percent. While the state’s year-over-year pace of job growth has more than caught up to the nation’s, California’s outstanding total number of jobs/employment is still playing catch-up in relative comparison to the United States.
  • Seven of California’s 11 industry sectors gained jobs, with trade, transportation, and utilities (+9,600) experiencing the largest month-over gain thanks to strength in retail and transportation/warehousing.
  • Education and health services (+5,700) also experienced strong month-over-month growth thanks to gains in health care and social assistance.
  • Both professional and business services (-6,100) and construction (-6,100) experienced the largest month-over-month losses due to declines in accounting and employment services for the former and losses in building foundation and exterior contractors for the latter.
  • June 2022 marked the sixth consecutive month of labor force gains (pool of individuals willing and able to work) and the 12th consecutive month with a decrease in the unemployment rate.

Nevada’s June 2022 Employment Numbers
The Nevada report shows employment in the state is up 7,600 jobs in June 2022 and 90,400 jobs from a year ago (a 6.6 percent annual increase).

Last month, Nevada’s payroll jobs market finally closed the gap inflicted since the COVID-19 recession transpired two-and-a-half years ago. Total non-farm employment now stands at 100.2 percent above its pre-pandemic peak (before the COVID-19 employment fallout). The market has experienced a slow-and-steady positive trend that continued as individuals re-entered (and also left) the labor force (pool of individuals saying they are willing and able to work) over this period.

Nevada’s June 2022 unemployment rate stands at 4.7 percent (from a “readjusted” 4.9 percent in May) — but it’s still up from 3.7 percent in February of 2020 (pre-pandemic economy). At one point during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the state’s unemployment rate hit 28.2 percent.

Total non-farm employment (payroll and independent jobs combined) currently stands at a new all-time record of 1.452 million individuals (3,000 above the previous peak in early 2020).

Overall, Nevada employers added jobs for the 26th consecutive month in June 2022:

  • The education and health industry added 2,700 jobs, followed by professional and business services with 2,400 jobs.
  • The level of jobs recovery among the eleven super-sectors at the state level has experienced five industries surpassing their previous employment peaks: Manufacturing has recovered at 109.5 percent; trade, transportation and utilities at 109.8 percent; financial activities at 108 percent; and education and health services at 105.2 percent.
  • However, leisure and hospitality stands at 90.7 percent recovered.
  • Las Vegas-area employment increased by 0.5 percent (5,400 jobs) from May to June 2022 (month before) and by 74,600 jobs (7.6 percent) since June 2021.
  • Reno/Sparks-area employment increased by 0.4 percent (1,100 jobs) from May to June 2022 (month before) and by 10,500 jobs (4.2 percent) since June 2021.
  • Carson City-area employment experienced 0 percent change from May to June 2022 (month before), but increased by 1,200 jobs (4 percent) since June 2021.

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