Department of Numbers

California Unemployment

According to the BLS current population survey (CPS), the unemployment rate for California fell 0.1 percentage points in August 2021 to 7.5%. The state unemployment rate was 2.3 percentage points higher than the national rate for the month. The unemployment rate in California peaked in April 2020 at 16.0% and is now 8.5 percentage points lower. You can also see California unemployment compared to other states.

Unemployment Rate August 2021 Month/Month Year/Year
National 5.2% -0.2 -3.2
California 7.5% -0.1 -4.8

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

Unemployment Rate: California, National

California monthly unemployment rate chart from 1990 to August 2021

Note: Recessions shown in gray

California Unemployed

The number of people unemployed in California peaked in April 2020 at 2,966,435. There are now 1,534,790 fewer people unemployed in the state. California job growth data is also available.

Unemployed Persons August 2021 Month/Month Year/Year
California 1,431,645 -2,182 -869,675

Number of Unemployed Persons

Monthly chart of total unemployed in California from 1990 to August 2021

California Unemployment History

Date National
Unemployment Rate
California
Unemployment Rate
California
Unemployed
September 2021 4.8%
August 2021 5.2% 7.5% 1,431,645
July 2021 5.4% 7.6% 1,433,827
June 2021 5.9% 7.6% 1,439,638
May 2021 5.8% 7.7% 1,445,889
April 2021 6.1% 8.0% 1,516,672
March 2021 6.0% 8.3% 1,579,280
February 2021 6.2% 8.5% 1,610,021
January 2021 6.3% 9.0% 1,679,840
December 2020 6.7% 9.3% 1,748,456
November 2020 6.7% 8.7% 1,620,723
October 2020 6.9% 9.8% 1,854,378