Business & Real Estate

Unemployment in Sacramento drops sharply as California rate holds steady

California’s economy continued to benefit from strong national growth in April, according to data released Friday by the state Employment Development Department. The state added 46,000 net jobs and held unemployment steady at 4.3 percent last month.

Despite concerns that President Donald Trump’s tariffs could destabilize the economy – as well as high housing costs across the state – California added even more jobs than it did in March, when the state posted a 28,500 jobs increase, according to EDD’s revised figures.

The four-county Sacramento region had a strong April as well. The unemployment rate jumped to 3.5 percent from 4.2 percent in March. The latest percentage was also a tenth of a percent below the year-ago figure of 3.6 percent.

That number is close to the lowest unemployment rate recorded in decades as well. The combined counties of El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo saw employment increase by 6,100 jobs. Still, more than 37,000 in the capital region are unemployed, the survey found.

“There is so much about the current economy that isn’t supposed to happen,” Michael Bernick, a former Employment Development Department director and current research fellow with the Milken Institute, told the Los Angeles Times on Friday.

In the last year, the state has gained 271,600 jobs, a 1.6 percent increase, according to EDD’s report. The capital region’s improvement was less pronounced with 0.9 percent increase year-over-year, or 10,100 jobs.

Growth was spread across industries, with nine of 11 sectors reporting payroll increases.

The largest increases came in the education and health services sector, which grew by 17,300 jobs. In the Sacramento region, education and health services added 1,700 jobs, leading year-over growth numbers for the fourth month in a row. Government employment was second with an increase of 1,400 jobs.

Two California industries reported losses. The information sector, which includes tech companies and Hollywood studios, lost 600 jobs – 400 of those jobs in the Sacramento region. The mining and logging sector dropped by 200.

Wages in the state has also grew with the average hourly earnings up by 5.2 percent in April, in line with increases seen every month this year.