Monday, September 19, 2005

California’s economy added 17,200 jobs in August, accounting for 10.1 percent of the 169,000 jobs created nationwide

California adds 17,200 jobs in August
The Associated Press
Published: September 16, 2005 17:42

THE HEADLINE—California’s economy added 17,200 jobs in August, accounting for 10.1 percent of the 169,000 jobs created nationwide, the state Employment Development Department said Friday.

More than 14.8 million people in the state held payroll jobs during the month (not including farm workers and the self-employed).

SHORT-TERM TREND—The state continues to closely mirror national job trends. While the number of jobs created in August was less than the revised 38,100 jobs created in July, overall this year California has kept pace with national job growth.

“We need about 20,000 to 25,000 jobs a month to keep pace with labor force growth, and we’ve been there recently,” said Stephen Levy, senior economist at the Palo Alto-based Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy.

HOSPITALITY, TRADE JOBS GAIN—The trade, transportation and utilities sectors showed the strongest gains in August, gaining 7,400 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis. Hotel, food and similar jobs also increased and are up for the year due to a resurgence of tourism in the state.

“This is a very strong year for tourism, even in the (San Francisco) Bay area,” said Jack Kyser, chief economist at the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach showed increases in both import and export activity in August, Kyser said.

Job declines were seen in manufacturing, information and other services during the month.

From August 2004 to August 2005, the state has added a total of 223,900 jobs, led by gains in construction with 60,900 jobs.

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE—The state’s unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in August, unchanged from a revised rate of 5.2 percent in July. A year ago, it was 6.1 percent.

FEWER JOB HUNTERS—930,000 Californians were looking for work last month, up 12,000 from July but down 137,000 compared to August of last year.

THE OUTLOOK—The August jobs report reflects the situation before the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and a spike in gasoline prices. Nationally, economists are expecting an economic slowdown for the next few fiscal quarters because of Katrina.

“The impact on jobs may come in the holiday season if consumers have less to spend because more of their budget is being taken up by gasoline and energy related items,” Levy said.


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