Business & Real Estate

Sacramento’s unemployment rate dives to 3%, California hits 4%, both setting record lows

Unemployment rates for the month of September fell to 3 percent in Sacramento’s four-county region and 4 percent statewide, both record low figures, according to the California Employment Development Department.

Staggeringly low jobless rates were reported across the four counties in the Sacramento-Roseville-Arden Arcade metropolitan statistical area.

Unemployment rates were at 3.1 percent in Sacramento and Yolo counties, 2.8 percent in El Dorado County and 2.6 percent in Placer County, according to numbers released Friday by the EDD.

The total jobless rate of 3.0 percent for the statistical area for September 2019 is lower than the rates for California (3.5 percent) and the U.S. (3.3 percent) during the same period, and represents an improvement from the capital region’s 3.7 percent unemployment rate in August 2019.

All of those figures are unadjusted for seasonality. EDD accounts for seasonal changes in certain industries when calculating its final monthly statewide unemployment rates.

The seasonally adjusted statewide rate of 4.0 percent, which broke the record of 4.1 percent first set in 2018 and tied in August 2019, is based on a federal survey of 5,100 California households.

Total employment in the four-county Sacramento region grew to 1,029,500 jobs this September, an increase of 100 jobs from the previous month and an increase of 18,700 jobs, or 1.9 percent, since last September.

Nearly one-third of the year-over-year growth came in the fields of health care and social services, which expanded by 5,900 jobs in the Sacramento area. Construction gained 5,700 jobs, and food services – under the umbrella of leisure and hospitality – shot up by 2,600 jobs between September 2018 and September 2019. Government work (900 jobs) and information (600) were the only major industries recording decline, according to the EDD.

Education and health service sectors combined to grow by 1,700 jobs and government positions advanced by 1,400 jobs, both attributed to seasonal gains. However, the EDD reports that the capital region saw losses in leisure and hospitality (down 2,200 jobs), farming (down 900) and “other services” (down about 300).

The EDD, in a news release on the latest unemployment figures, says California’s current economic expansion – beginning in February 2010, now at 115 months and running – is the longest in state history, surpassing the 113-month upswing in the 1960s. California has gained nearly 3.4 million jobs since the Great Recession ended in early 2010.

“California added an average 29,120 jobs per month over the entire 115-month-long expansion — far more than the 8,000-9,000 jobs needed monthly to match labor force growth,” EDD’s news release says.

The Sacramento metro area’s unadjusted unemployment rate is the lowest in modern history, a dataset that spans back to 1990, according to the EDD website. The worst rates during that period came between 2010 and 2011, with January 2011 marking a record-high 12.8 percent jobless rate for the four-county region.

“It is encouraging to see all-time record low unemployment and record-high job expansion with the largest gains going to counties in inland Southern California,” Lenny Mendonca, director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, said in a prepared statement regarding the statewide data.

“Looking forward, it’s important to focus on supporting the growth of quality jobs there and across all of California so that we can revive economic mobility.”

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Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and lifelong capital resident, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.