State Job Growth Falters
After adding an average of 29,900 jobs each month since Aug 2011, California nonfarm payrolls decreased by 4200 positions in April, based on preliminary data released by the state Employment Development Dept. Job growth for March was revised upward to 22,100, an increase of 3900 over the previous estimate by the state EDD. April's job losses were most acute in the Construction industry, which shed 6700 workers. Other sectors posting declines included Information (-4700), Manufacturing (-4100), Education & Health Services (-3500) and Leisure & Hospitality (-3500). The majority of jobs gained were in Professional & Business Services (12,700) and Trade, Transportation & Utilities (5500).
California's unemployment rate was down a tenth to 10.9 percent in April, primarily due to discouraged workers leaving the labor force, according to the EDD. State joblessness remains among the highest in the nation, trailing only Nevada (11.7) and Rhode Island (11.2). However, now that unemployment is below 11 percent, California residents are no longer eligible for the FED-ED extension, which provided an extra 20 weeks of unemployment payments. The maximum time period to receive jobless benefits is now 79 weeks.
New Grads See Brighter Prospects
Nearly nine out of ten employers plan to hire more new college grads this year than last, and many have already followed through, according to a study of 225 companies by Boston-based Millennial Branding and data compiled by Experience, Inc. The unemployment rate for recent grads under age 24 has been dropping steadily, averaging 7.2 percent since the start of 2012. Over the same period the rate was 8.1 in 2011 and 9.1 in 2010. As of April 30, slightly more than half of graduating seniors had applied for work, and 44 percent of them had already received job offers, according to the National Assoc of Colleges and Employers. NACE’s survey also found that median salary offers to the class of 2012 were 4.5 percent higher than those received by 2011 grads.
On the Job Front
NATIONWIDE – Discount retailer Ross Stores Inc is preparing for a major expansion that would more than double its number of stores. The corporation currently operates about 1150 stores in 30 states as Ross Dress for Less and DD’s Discounts. . . US employers advertised 3.74 million jobs in March, the highest number since July 2008, according to the Labor Dept.
STATEWIDE – The California FreshWorks Fund, a coalition of grocers, banks and financiers, has created a $125-million loan fund to bring more fresh foods to low-income neighborhoods. The initiative hopes to create over 3000 jobs at 30 or more new food outlets.
SACRAMENTO – The Firestone Public House, a new bar and restaurant, just opened at the former CA Pizza Kitchen location at 16th and L streets.
SAN JOSE – Application networking firm A10 Networks Inc, one of the area’s fastest-growing private companies, plans to expand it local staff by more than 100 over the next year.
SANTA CLARA – Applied Materials Inc, which makes equipment used in the manufacture of solar panels, video displays and semiconductor chips, will cut 250 jobs in response to challenges in the global solar market.