California ranks dead last in 2023 job growth

Other states like Nevada and Florida are far outpacing California’s job growth.

California ranks dead last for job growth in the US according to revised employment stats from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

California added workers at a rate of 0.87% in 2023, which was less than half of the national rate of 2%.


Driving the news: The slow job growth in California is in contrast to the fastest job growth happening in states like Nevada and Florida, which gained 3.4% and 3.3%, respectively. California faced multiple challenges in 2023, including a weakening technology sector, labor unrest, and population outflow, resulting in a shortage of workers.

  • Some industries in California experienced job cuts, such as the movie business (down 25%), temp agencies (down 14%), lending (down 9%), and warehouses (down 5%).
  • Geographically, San Francisco saw a 1% decrease in jobs, while employment in Los Angeles County and San Jose only grew by 0.3% and 0.4%, respectively.

The backstory: This is not the first time California has ranked last in job growth. In 1993, the state experienced a job count shrinkage of 1% due to a major loss of aerospace work and a real estate crash.

  • Over the past 50 years, California has generally been a leader in job growth, with an average annual growth rate of 1.8% compared to the national rate of 1.5%.
  • Last year, California ranked 26th among the states for bad job markets, but it was the 13th year in the top 10 for hiring.
  • The sluggish hiring pace in 2023 serves as a wake-up call for state leaders, highlighting the need to address the high cost of living and doing business in California.
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