4 signs California’s job market is cooling

As reported by the Orange County Register:

Have California bosses changed their hearts about hiring?

After six straight years of job gains, 2017 started with the slowest employment upswing since the first year of the recovery from the Great Recession.

Using data from the state Employment Development Department and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, here are four reasons behind the cooling.

No. 1: Fewer layoffs

California bosses have a low-risk way to keep payrolls up: skip the pink slips!

Just look at initial unemployment claims, seen as a snapshot of how many employees have recently lost their jobs. State employment counters report that in the year ended in February, 2.35 million unemployment claims were made.

That may sound like a like of layoffs but it’s actually historically small.

For starters, it’s the slowest annualized pace of Californians filing for jobless claims since December 2007. …

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So this is the Recovery? Californians not feeling it

JobsIs the Great Recession over?

In California, the signals are mixed.

On one hand, a recent study of U.S. Census data by the Washington, D.C.-based Economic Innovation Group found that Los Angeles County led the nation with the largest number of jobs added, a total of 352,840 between 2010 and 2014.

The good news extended statewide. Twenty counties in the U.S. accounted for half of net new businesses established in those years, and five of those counties are in California.

Yet the latest Field Poll found that 74 percent of California voters list the economy and jobs as their top concern.

Is that just habit? Or something else?

A closer look reveals a problem of definitions, starting with: What is a job?

“People are considered employed if they did any work at all for pay or profit during the survey reference week,” explains the website of the U.S. government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, referring to its monthly survey of 60,000 households, “This includes all part-time and temporary work, as well as regular full-time, year-round employment.”

So when people pick up part-time or temporary work for a few days or even for a few hours, the government counts them as “employed” at “a job.”

Some people are counted as “employed” at “a job” even if they don’t get paid.

Here’s an example from the BLS website: “Garrett is 16 years old, and he has no job from which he receives any pay or profit. However, Garrett does help with the regular chores around his parents’ farm and spends about 20 hours each week doing so.”

Here’s another one: “Lisa spends most of her time taking care of her home and children, but she helps in her husband’s computer software business all day Friday and Saturday.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Garrett and Lisa have “jobs.” They’re in a category called ”unpaid family workers,” which includes …

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This piece was originally published by the L.A. Daily News