By Jonathan Lansner at The Mercury News
January 3, 2022
At the start of 2022, Californians will be job hunting in the most-competitive employment market in the nation.
The harsh reality for anybody looking for a paycheck is not simply the state’s lofty unemployment level. California’s 6.9% jobless rate for November was an improvement from 7.3% a month earlier and 8.7% a year ago. Still, it was the highest joblessness in the nation.
More unnerving to a job seeker is California’s slow reheating from the pandemic’s economic chill, evidenced by weak prospects for work when looking on a national scale.
We now have two monthly reports to help us decipher a distressing, statewide job market. First, there’s the total jobs and employment status from the previous month, data that also delivers the local unemployment rates. And there’s also the new “Job Openings and Labor Turnover” stats that look at the “why” behind the changes: those hired, fired or quit and how many job opportunities exist. These “JOLT” figures reflect trends from two months prior.
Let my trusty spreadsheet, looking at both sets of October data, explain why job searching in California is so challenging, relatively speaking. Yes, California unemployment is at a pandemic-era low. But bosses statewide have been slow to restaff their businesses since COVID-19 iced the economy.
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