California's Employment Development Department and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released California's December 2019 state jobs report earlier this month. Statewide nonfarm employment grew by an estimated 12,600 in December. The official unemployment rate remained at 3.9 percent, the modern series low. While revised estimates for all of 2019 will be released with the January 2020 report, as the data stand now California employers added at least 10,000 jobs in every month of 2019 except January.
The figure below summarizes nonfarm employment by sector based on the monthly survey of employers. Overall employment in the state has grown 1.8 percent over the past 12 months, somewhat ahead of the national pace of 1.4 percent. The health care/social services sector accounts for about one in every even California payroll jobs, but it added more than a quarter of the state’s estimated net new jobs over the course of 2019. The growth of the health sector has been both fast and stable: it is the only sector to add jobs in every calendar year since 1991, and its growth rate has exceeded the statewide average growth rate in all but one year since 2001.