California Adds Jobs in June
Despite a slowdown in construction, the number of California payroll jobs grew in June for the second straight month. Employers added a total of 11,000 jobs in eight categories: information (+3300), professional and business services (+3200), leisure and hospitality (+1900), education and health services (+1800), manufacturing (+1000), government (+900), trade, transit and utilities (+700), and mining (+100). Financial lost the most jobs (-1000), followed by other services (-900), and construction (-500). In the 12 months ending in June, California added 235,600 jobs. The state’s rate of unemployed dropped from 5 percent to 4.9 percent. Nationally, the rate of unemployment is 4.6 percent.
It’s Taking Longer to Find Work
Employers appeared to pull back on expansion plans in the second quarter due to a lack of qualified workers and concerns about the economy’s long-term health. As a result, it took jobseekers an average of 3.6 months to find positions in the second quarter, nearly a month longer than the 2.7 months it took first-quarter jobseekers, according to the a survey of 3,000 jobseekers by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. "What makes the sudden increase in job-search times particularly surprising is that it followed the lowest quarterly job-search times recorded since 2001," notes CEO John Challenger. "For job searches to go from under three months to nearly four months in such a short span is definitely a sign that there has been a shift in business strategy." The jump in job-search times is surprising since the Challenger report indicates that more jobseekers took steps that would typically help accelerate the job search. For example, 18 percent of jobseekers relocated for new jobs, up from 16 percent in the previous quarter. The percentage of jobseekers changing industries also increased, going from 39 percent in the first quarter to 46 percent in the second quarter. The report did have one bright spot. According to the survey, 93 percent of jobseekers were able to win equivalent or better positions than they previously held, up by 6 percent from one year ago. "The fact that employers are willing to pay equivalent or better salaries provides further evidence that they are suffering the effects of a labor shortage, which may in turn be forcing them to rein in hiring. The economy may be hitting a natural slowdown brought upon by the constrictions of the labor force," Challenger believes.
On the Job Front
STATEWIDE – California manufacturing continued to grow at a faster rate than the nation’s in the second quarter. Three sectors – high-tech, durable goods and nondurable goods – all grew in the second quarter, with high-tech performing the best . . . Governor Schwarzenegger authorized a $150 million loan to fund the California stem cell institute, which has been stalled by lawsuits. The money will help fund research and increase biotech employment.
SACRAMENTO – Valley Healthcare Systems Inc has won a five-year pact with the US Dept of Veterans Affairs to provide traveling nurses to VA facilities in 13 states. The firm has been expanding its office space and staff, and currently employs 255 full and part-time nurses.
SAN FRANCISCO – The two-year hotel worker impasse may be nearing its end. Contract talks between 13 hotel owners and their workers have resumed.