Another month and another sideways step for the California job market.
Unemployment ticks up to 12.6% and payroll jobs increase 4,000 statewide, following an increase of 3000 last month; virtually no change. This marks 5 months of flat payrolls in California (the self-cancelling down and up of December and January just reflect a less than stellar holiday season). With 162,000 jobs added in March nationally (the first month of solid nationwide job growth), I was hopeful for a stronger showing in California, but not surprised by the underwhelming growth.
Monthly job growth in California needs to be consistently above 10,000 to keep up with population, and will have to consistently exceed 20,000 to start chipping away at unemployment. If not in April, we should start posting 10,000+ gains every month in May, 20,000+ gains in the fall, and 30,000+ gains in 2011.
In the metro areas, San Jose is showing some modest job growth connected to the rebound in the tech sector. Other areas are following the state pattern. The effects of the NUMMI closure will not be apparant until the next report.