California’s unemployment rate dropped slightly in February, as state employers added an estimated non-agricultural 141,000 jobs.
The state’s 8.5 unemployment rate last month was a 0.5 percent decline from February, well above the national rate of 6.2 percent, according to data released today by the California Employment Development Department.
February’s job gain was the largest since June and helped recover most of the 155,400 non-agricultural jobs that were lost in January and February. California also accounted for 37 percent of the jobs added nationwide during the second month of the year.
“After a dark winter when the California labor market recovery stalled, February has brought significant hope to the state’s displaced workers,”said Taner Osman, research manager at Beacon Economics and the UC Riverside Center for Forecasting, in a statement.
“We still have 1.7 million fewer people employed in the state compared to pre-pandemic levels, but the significant decline in new virus cases coupled with the continued roll out of effective vaccines, are grounds for optimism that the spring and summer will bring significant job gains to the state.”
Leisure and Hospitality added 102,200 jobs, the most of any sector. Other sectors posting strong gains in February were Other Services (14,100), Health Care (13,400), Manufacturing (8,900), Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities (8,300), Administrative Support (7,000), and Retail Trade (2,500), according to the department.