Chris White, DCNF
California gained a few hundred jobs in June, a number representing a significant pullback from May and April, according to data released Friday from the state’s Employment Development Department.
The state produced a mere 800 jobs in June as economists worry President Donald Trump’s trade tariffs are having an effect in California. The state added 7,200 jobs in May and 26,000 in April. Economists are at pains to explain the drop off in payroll.
June’s disappointing figures “warrant attention” but are not cause for “undue alarm at this point,” Lynn Reaser, chief economist of the Fermanian Business and Economic Institute at Point Loma Nazarene University, told reporters at the Los Angeles Times. “June’s weak performance could be temporary,” she added.
Four of California’s largest industries gained made payroll gains in June. The education and health services sector gained 8,000 jobs, with the information sector following close behind. Tech companies and Hollywood studios and grew by 4,600 jobs.
Michael Bernick, an attorney with Duane Morris and a former director of the Employment Development Department, believes the slowdown was bound to happen sooner or later.
California’s economy remains healthy despite the poor numbers, he noted, adding that federal trade policy could hamper further job growth. “A widening trade war is the main threat to California’s continued employment expansion,” Bernick said. Sky high taxes and prices are also hurting the state’s economics.
California’s high housing prices and rising gas prices are driving away what remains of the state’s low-income citizens. Those migrating from the coastal state are making way for places like Las Vegas and Arizona, where housing prices are relatively cheap compared to California.
The state also saw a loss of over 138,000 people in that 12-month period, according to a CNBC report in March, while Texas experienced an uptick of more than 79,000 people. Arizona and Nevada, meanwhile, gained more than 63,000 and 38,000 residents, respectively. California’s extraordinarily high gas taxes is another reason for the mass exodus.