While the Golden State’s unemployment rate is higher than the nation’s, job growth is also outpacing the national rate. California and Silicon Valley saw net gains in jobs in December, even as tech companies based in the state announce thousands of layoffs.
Employers added 16,200 nonfarm payroll jobs in December, the state’s Employment Development Department reported Friday, even as Silicon Valley companies like Intel Corp(INTC) began layoffs. The state’s jobless rate stayed at 4.1%, compared with the nation’s unemployment rate of 3.5%, but California’s job growth of 3.6% outpaced the nation’s 3% growth, the EDD said. “California continues leading the nation’s economy,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The biggest job gains in California were in the education and health services sector, with 8,200 jobs added, according to EDD data. That was followed by thousands of jobs added in each of the following sectors: construction, government, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services. Nine of 11 sectors added jobs. The sectors that saw decreases were information, which lost 6,100 jobs, and trade, transportation and utilities, which lost 11,100 jobs.
Epicenter Of Tech Industry
Silicon Valley is the epicenter of the tech industry’s massive layoff announcements, but some experts are remaining somewhat hopeful despite acknowledging the “very real disruptions” for the workers who have been affected. Most of the jobs added in the state were in the nine-county Bay Area, resulting in a drop in Silicon Valley’s unemployment rate month over month, to 2% from 2.3%, according to Joint Venture Silicon Valley’s Institute for Regional Studies, which based its analysis on the EDD data.
“The Bay Area added 13,000 jobs,” Russell Hancock, chief executive of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, an alliance of business, labor, academic and community leaders, told MarketWatch. “That far offsets the number of layoffs in the Bay Area, so our head’s above water.”
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