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On March 3, the state's Employment Development Department (EDD) released state jobs data for January 2017.

FIgure: nonfarm California employment as of January 2017

Job Growth Has Been Slowing as Unemployment Falls. The table above summarizes California's January 2017 jobs report. Sectors colored green (9 of the 18 listed) experienced a faster rate of growth in California than in the nation as a whole over the last 12 months. Those colored black (6 of the 18) grew in California, but at a slower rate than in the nation as a whole. Sectors colored red (3 of the 18) saw a decline in California over the last 12 months. Compared to prior months' reports, there is now less green and more black in the "sector" column. This reflects the state's slower job growth as joblessness--with the official unemployment rate now at 5.1% in California--approaches the "full employment" level. As shown above, EDD estimates that in January the number of jobs increased by a net 9,700 on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Meanwhile, over the entirety of the past 12 months, jobs increased by an average of about 27,500 per month, net (that is, 331,000 net job growth over the past 12 months divided by 12). Some slowing of job growth has been expected, given the mature stage of the current economic expansion.

Reflects Upward Revisions for 2016. The January jobs report always contains annual revisions that are based on comprehensive counts (as opposed to the usual monthly sample surveys) of payroll jobs from the previous March. EDD now estimates that the state started 2016 with 7,700 more jobs and added 23,600 more over the course of the year as compared to what was previously estimated. (This means that, on a seasonally-adjusted basis, 2016 ended with 16.638 million jobs in California, as opposed to the 16.607 million estimated in the prior jobs report for December--an increase of 31,300.)  For 2016, information (+31,700) and manufacturing (+21,500) had big upward revisions, while professional and technical services (-41,100) had the biggest downward revision.

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