(dailynews.com) If you’re a California worker, you’ve got reason to celebrate this Labor Day.
The California job market continues to improve with various yardsticks of employment performance hitting new heights as bosses continue to hire at an extended fast pace not seen since the late 1990s.
I tossed two sets of employment data into my trusty spreadsheet – monthly state data derived from surveys of households and employers, latest is from July; and deeper detailed federal data from employer filings, latest is from 2015’s fourth quarter – to get a snapshot of the state’s jobs picture.
Here are six employment trends that should bring a smile to many California workers or job seekers.
1. More Bosses
Choice of bosses is good for workers, and California has a record number of employers last year.
Despite much talk about companies fleeing the state, California’s base of bosses grew to 1.42 million employers in 2015, federal quarterly jobs stats show. That is more employers than the next two states combined – Florida and Texas – and tops the old California high of 1.38 million from 2011.
The state has added 90,000 employers in the past two years – fastest spurt since 2002-2003.
By the way, the average California workplace is small, with just 11.4 workers. Only two states – Montana and Wyoming – have smaller employee-per-employer ratios. Employers nationwide average 14.7 workers.
2. Hiring Spree
California has added 2.3 million jobs since post-recession employment bottomed out in February 2010, state jobs stats show.
That hiring spree put the job count at 16.49 million jobs for July, a record high.
California bosses added 374,000 workers in the 12 months ended in July, the biggest growth in the nation, topping Florida (up 250,200), and Texas (up 173,000.)
But it’s worth noting the rate of job growth appears to be slowing in 2016. California jobs grew at 2.3 percent in the 12 months ended in July, the slowest pace in four years.
3. Hot Industries
California’s upswing in jobs has aided most, but not all, industries.
State jobs data tracks 11 key employment sectors. In the 12 months ended in July, jobs were up in nine sectors and fell in two.
Hottest was education and health services, up 87,000 jobs. Other big gainers were professional and business services (up 77,800); leisure and hospitality (up 65,900); trade, transportation and utilities (up 53,500); and government (up 44,600).
The two decliners were manufacturing – with exports hurt by a strong U.S. dollar and weak overseas economies – down 5,000 jobs, and mining and logging – stung by low energy prices – down 3,600 workers.
4. Fewer Jobless
The recovery has by no means cured all economic ills, but counts of Californians without jobs are down.
According to a monthly survey of households, state jobs stats show 1.05 million Californians were statistically unemployed in July – that’s down 113,000 in a year.
State unemployment insurance payouts show 353,609 people got jobless benefits in July vs. 377,940 in July of last year. New claims for unemployment insurance were 42,923 in July vs. 45,435 in July 2015.
Still, there’s room for improvement. Using the broadest measure of unemployment, 12 percent of Californians were without work in the year ended June 30. Only two states – Nevada and New Mexico – fared worse.
Please note this same broad “U6” measure of joblessness – which includes workers who are discouraged, marginally or working part-time purely for economic reasons – was at 22 percent in California six years ago.
5. Higher Pay
California workers get paid relatively well.
Employers statewide paid average weekly wages of $1,274 in the fourth quarter, a record high. Only four states – Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut – had better pay, federal quarterly jobs stats show.
That pay may not go extremely far for numerous folks in California, but it is a noteworthy bump above the nation’s next two largest job hubs – 33 percent better than Florida wages and 16 percent higher than Texas.
Top wages by county in California were found to the north: Santa Clara, $2,335 weekly; San Mateo, $2,095; and San Francisco, $1,961. Southern California’s leaders were Los Angeles, $1,266, and Orange County, $1,205.
6. Bigger Raises
Competition for workers means bosses have to pay up.
California’s average weekly wages rose $65 a week in a year. Only workers in Massachusetts got more added dollars in the period.
And for those who like to talk raises in percentage-point terms, California bosses upped average wages by 5.4 percent in the year. Pay hikes on a percentage basis were larger in only 10 other states.
For all of 2015, California’s weekly wage rose at a 4.5 percent pace. That’s the best rate of raises since 2007.