Department of Numbers

California Unemployment

According to the BLS current population survey (CPS), the unemployment rate for California rose 0.1 percentage points in January 2019 to 4.2%. The state unemployment rate was 0.2 percentage points higher than the national rate for the month. The unemployment rate in California peaked in March 2010 at 12.3% and is now 8.1 percentage points lower. From a post peak low of 4.1% in July 2018, the unemployment rate has now grown by 0.1 percentage points. You can also see California unemployment compared to other states.

Unemployment Rate January 2019 Month/Month Year/Year
National 4.0% +0.1 -0.1
California 4.2% +0.1 -0.2

Note: All comparisons are made with January data as February state level unemployment data has not yet been released.

Unemployment Rate: California, National

California monthly unemployment rate chart from 1990 to January 2019

Note: Recessions shown in gray

California Unemployed

The number of people unemployed in California peaked in October 2010 at 2,253,816. There are now 1,436,177 fewer people unemployed in the state. From a recent trough of 796,927 in September 2018, the number of unemployed has now grown by 20,712. California job growth data is also available.

Unemployed Persons January 2019 Month/Month Year/Year
California 817,639 +15,045 -24,789

Number of Unemployed Persons

Monthly chart of total unemployed in California from 1990 to January 2019

California Unemployment History

Date National
Unemployment Rate
California
Unemployment Rate
California
Unemployed
February 2019 3.8%
January 2019 4.0% 4.2% 817,639
December 2018 3.9% 4.1% 802,594
November 2018 3.7% 4.1% 801,461
October 2018 3.8% 4.1% 798,652
September 2018 3.7% 4.1% 796,927
August 2018 3.8% 4.1% 797,849
July 2018 3.9% 4.1% 802,494
June 2018 4.0% 4.2% 810,339
May 2018 3.8% 4.2% 819,081
April 2018 3.9% 4.3% 826,994
March 2018 4.0% 4.3% 833,340