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California's Employment Development Department and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released California's April 2020 state jobs report earlier this month. Statewide nonfarm employment dropped by an estimated 2,344,700 in April, and the March decline was revised upward from 99,500 to 210,500. The official unemployment rate soared to 15.5 percent, up from 5.3 percent in March and 3.9 in February. The survey reflects job losses through the second week of April, after the statewide shelter in place order had been in effect for over three weeks. California’s losses represented 11.4 percent of the national estimate of 20.5 million jobs lost over the same period, right in line with its 11.5 percent of the nation’s total payroll jobs.  

The figure below summarizes nonfarm employment by sector based on the monthly survey of employers. Overall employment in the state as of the second week of April was 13.4 percent below the level of April 2019, slightly worse than the national figure of 12.9 percent. As in March, a disproportionate share of job losses fell on the leisure and hospitality sector, which includes restaurants, hotels, and entertainment businesses. In that sector and most others, California’s job loss pattern was very close to the national pattern.


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