California gained 44,800 jobs in August; unemployment holds at record low

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The California economy barreled forward in August as employers added 44,800 net jobs and the unemployment rate held at a record low of 4.2%, according to data released Friday by the state's Employment Development Department.

Wages grew but barely enough to top the increase in consumer prices.

All in all, the data reveal a resilient economy that is improving despite high housing costs and rising trade tensions with China, a major trading partner for the Golden State.

“California’s economy continues to sizzle,” said Sung Won Sohn, president of SS Economics in Los Angeles.

The good news could change as the Trump administration ratchets up trade actions, Sohn cautioned. This coming Monday, for example, new tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods are set to take effect. Those 10% duties will hit many household items and are expected to bring more pain to everyday Americans than previous rounds.

California unemployment held steady at 4.2% for the fifth straight month, suggesting the state is at or reaching full employment, experts said.

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