California added an additional 28,400 nonfarm jobs in November, making this the strongest November for the state since the start of the recovery in 2010, the state Employment Development Department said Thursday.
Despite the surge in employment, the state’s unemployment rate remained unchanged from October at 3.9%. It had been 4.1% in November 2017.
The state’s farming sector, responsible for 40% of all of California’s food supply, was hard hit by the global food crisis and has continued to lag during the recovery. The farming industry has shed 9,400 jobs since November 2017, a drop of 0.8% of its labor force. Food manufacturing jobs have also been dropping, down 18,000, or 2.8%, in that period.
Many sectors have grown in California, including professional services, with an increase of 10,500 jobs, or 1.4%, and education and health services, with a gain of 11,400 jobs, or 1.4%.
The new jobs, along with 2,400 that were lost, pushed the California unemployment rate among residents aged 16 and older to 3.9%. That is well below the national rate of 4.1%.
California lost jobs in five of the past 10 months.
The biggest reason for the state’s growth is the continued prosperity of its high-tech industry, which added 29,800 jobs, or 1.4%. San Francisco added 9,000 and San Jose added 8,400 new jobs.
Since November 2017, the technology sector in California has lost 3,300 jobs. But without the loss, the overall growth would have been 20,100 jobs.
The auto industry and manufacturing sector continue to lag, with each adding a total of 3,400 jobs, or less than 1% of the total. In November, 26,400 jobs were lost in auto manufacturing, compared with 9,800 in October.
The latest figures come a day after San Diego County officials released their employment picture for November, noting that the county’s unemployment rate had dropped to 4.4% from 4.8% a month earlier.