California's Employment Development Department and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released California's March 2019 state jobs report last Friday. Statewide nonfarm employment grew by an estimated 24,500 in March, somewhat above the average pace of the past 12 months. The official unemployment rate rose to 4.3 percent, which is still quite low by historical standards.
The figure below summarizes nonfarm employment by sector based on the monthly survey of employers. The large increase in construction jobs reflects a return to normal after a weather-related jobs decline of equal size in February. Overall employment in the state grew 1.4 percent over the previous 12 months, somewhat below the nation’s 1.7 percent growth rate.