New hiring in California takes a dive

A look at last week’s job numbers shows some cracks in what has been a rock solid pathway of news jobs and higher wages. By the raw numbers, California's employment picture appears to be dimming a bit.

Through July of this year, California averaged about 60,000 new jobs gained each month.

In August, that dipped to 20,000; two-thirds less. In September, job gains plunged to 6,500, almost 90% fewer hires.  

"So, we've had a sharp drop in terms of job gains after this very long, strong job gain run," said employment lawyer and former EDD Director Michael Bernick.

Yet, the Golden State unemployment rate declined from 4.1% to 3.9%. "Because the number of workers considered to be in the labor force dropped significantly. It dropped by over 57,000 workers just in the months," said Bernick.

The outlook is that hiring freezes and layoffs are expected to increase, especially in white-collar and tech jobs. Yet, Bernick says he does not expect a serious downturn in jobs coming before next year, if at all.

One reason is that there are still over a million California job postings in direct service, direct care and blue-collar jobs. 

"And also. the system continues to be bolstered by the enormous sums of money coming on from the Federal government and the state government," said Bernick.

So what about all the hiring by the likes of Amazon, big box stores and delivery firms that comes at this time of year as they ramp up for the holidays These massive short-term, seasonal hirings are not considered regular, permanent hires, but they are already underway.