California years of job recovery – press enterprise


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California’s labor market, which was at its best in February, appears to be years away from returning to the heights it enjoyed before the coronavirus triggered vast economic woes, according to a forecast released Wednesday.

The UCLA Anderson Forecast outlook suggests that California’s pre-coronavirus economic boom will not reappear for at least two years.

Just a few months ago, from August 2019 to February this year, California’s unemployment rate was at an all-time high of 3.9%.

“A full recovery in pre-recession levels of economic activity is not expected until 2022 in the state,” wrote Leila Bengali, an economist at UCLA Anderson Forecast, in a report that outlined the outlook for the forecast for the California economy.

While noticeable improvement may start to emerge by the end of 2020, Anderson’s forecast has made it clear that the road to a return to a statewide pre-coronavirus economy is within the 2023 timeframe.

In February, California hit an all-time high of 17.6 million non-farm wage jobs, the state’s Department of Employment Development reported.

Current employment levels are far from this winter peak.

Despite gains of 885,700 salaried jobs from May to August, California had 1.73 million fewer jobs in August than in February, just before government agencies imposed business closures to fight the coronavirus.

Salaried employment in California is expected to reach 16.18 million by the end of 2020, 16.39 million by the end of 2021 and 16.97 million by the end of 2022, according to forecasts by the UCLA.

In other words, by the end of 2022 – more than two years from now – the total number of jobs in California will still be 630,000 jobs below the record 17.6 million.

Likewise, the unemployment rate will chart a slow path to a full recovery from record highs, Anderson economists predicted. The unemployment rate in California is expected to be 10.8% at the end of 2020, 8.6% at the end of 2021 and 6.6% at the end of 2022, according to their expectations. The forecast did not say when – or if – California would return to an unemployment rate of 3.9%.

“We expect the state’s economic outlook to improve significantly in the third quarter of this year, but a full recovery will take us beyond the end of 2022,” said Bengali economist at Anderson Forecast. .

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