The state saw the first increase in month-over-month unemployment last month since April of 2020, according to a recently released report from the California Employment Development Department (EDD).

“California’s unemployment rate rose 0.9 percentage points to 9% in December as the state’s employers lost 52,200 jobs,” a Jan. 22 press release from EDD reads. “This comes after the state saw a job gain in November (+5,200 jobs). Despite December’s losses, California has regained more than 44% of the (2.6 million) nonfarm jobs that were lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March and April.”

Although the state lost jobs overall, over half of the state’s industry sectors gained jobs in December.

“Despite the decline, six of California’s 11 industry sectors saw job gains last month. Construction had the state’s largest month-over increase (+31,600) thanks to strong gains in specialty trade contractors and construction of buildings,” the release reads. “Professional and business services had the state’s second-largest month-over increase (+29,600) due to large gains in accounting, tax preparation and bookkeeping, as well as management, scientific and technical consulting.”

Leisure and hospitality was hardest hit across the state, according to the report.

“Leisure and hospitality suffered the largest month-over loss (-117,000) largely due to severe losses in accommodation and food services, which accounted for 83.2% of the industry sector’s overall loss,” the release reads.

Since December of 2019, total nonfarm jobs declined by 1.4 million, a decrease of 8%. While the number of jobs in the agricultural industry rose by 24,300 to 380,800 jobs from November to December, the industry has still lost 49,300 farm jobs since December of 2019.

“The number of Californians with jobs in December was (17.2 million), a decrease of 91,700 jobs since November, and down (1.4 million) from December of last year,” the release reads. “The number of unemployed Californians was (1.7 million) in December, an increase of 163,700 over the month, and up by 945,700 in comparison to December of last year.”

The monthly labor force data for Calaveras County, which is not seasonally adjusted, shows a 7.3% unemployment rate for December, with 1,490 unemployed out of a labor force of 20,410. This is an increase of 25.2% from November’s unemployment rate of 5.9%, and an increase of 101.4% since December of 2019.

The county’s total nonfarm jobs grew month-over-month by 40 jobs to 8,570, an increase of 0.5%. However, total nonfarm jobs have still declined by 13.3% since December of 2019.

Total farm jobs remained the same from November to December at 330, a decline of 2.9% since December of 2019.

The county’s largest month-to-month job losses came in government (-30), mining, logging and construction (-20) and professional and business services (-10).

The largest month-to-month job gains came in leisure and hospitality (+50), transportation, warehousing and utilities (+40) and educational and health services (+20).

The county’s unemployment rate peaked at 13.3% in April of last year. Except for a small rise of 0.1% last September, the unemployment rate had been steadily declining until last month.



Noah Berner has lived in Calaveras County most of his life, and graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in history.

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