Employment 2017-11-17T19:10:59+00:00

Employment

Employment is a critical measure of an economy’s health. Data on jobs is among the first economic data that is reported, especially at the local level, and thus provides insight into trends. The levels of employment by industry are an important indicator of the structure of a local economy and also provide insight into trends affecting specific sectors/industries. 

Data for this indicator was obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW). Numbers from Merced, San Joaquin, and Stanislaus Counties were summed to obtain the NSJV total.

This graph shows the total number of payroll jobs in the NSJV each year between 2001 and 2016. To facilitate comparison between years, we use March employment data from each year which is the most recent data available for 2016.

After four consecutive years of declining employment following the 2007 recession, growth in employment began in 2012 and has continued since. A 4.7% growth occurred between 2014 and 2015, the highest growth in this timeframe.  Growth has continued with 3% between March 2015 and March 2016.

Data for this indicator was obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) for March 2015 and March 2016. The percent change/growth rate was calculated using those figures.

Job growth varies by county. This graph shows the job growth rate between March 2015 and March 2016 for each county in the NSJV, along with the employment growth rate for California for comparison.

San Joaquin County has the highest growth rate at 4%. Merced County experienced the least amount of growth with 0.7%. Merced County’s rate could possibly be explained by the drought’s negative effect on agriculture. Since the Merced County economy is disproportionally dependent on agricultural production, loss of agricultural employment would have a significantly larger effect in Merced than in San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties and California overall.

Data for this indicator was obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW).

This graph shows the number of months it took the NSJV, its component counties, California, and the United States to reach the same level of employment seen in 2007. The NSJV took longer to recover from the Great Recession than both California and the United States, 92 months compared to 82 months and 74 months, respectively. The recovery was uneven within the NSJV as well. While it took San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties 92 months to recover, it took Merced County 67 months to reach the same job levels seen in 2007. Higher dependence on agriculture and the growth of UC Merced helped Merced County recover jobs faster than California and the U.S. as a whole.

Labor force and employment

Both the number of residents in the labor force and the number of employed residents for each of the NSJV counties was obtained from the California Employment Development Department (EDD). County totals were summed to obtain the NSJV total.

Unemployment rate

Data for this indicator was obtained from the California Employment Development Department (EDD) as a rate. The weighted average of the rate was calculated to arrive at the unemployment rate for the NSJV.

The graph on the right (“Labor force and employment”) shows the total number of NSJV resident in the labor force and the number of employees in the NSJV. The labor force participation rate includes both employed and unemployed individuals. Labor force participation grew during the Great Recession as employment shrank in 2008 and 2009. However, since 2010 labor force participation has been steady while employment growth has been more robust.

The graph on the left (“Unemployment rate”) shows the unemployment rate between 2005 and 2015 for California and the NSJV. The unemployment rate in the NSJV peaked at around 17% during the recession but fell below 10% in 2015. While employment growth is the main reason for declining unemployment, it is also important to recognize trends in the size of the NSJV labor force. The number of NSJV residents in the labor force has remained flat between 2010 and 2014 even as the population grew. This decline in the labor force also has been seen nationwide due to discouraged workers and changing demographics. In 2015 this trend broke in the NSJV for the first time since 2010 with a slight uptick in the labor force, however, the unemployment rate continued to fall as the increase in employment outpaced the increase in the labor force.

*Note: Data for this graph was obtained from the California Employment Development Department, therefore the employment figures in this graph do not match with the employment figures presented in the “Job growth trends” graph.

Major occupational categories sorted by wage level

Occupation Mean Wage 2016 Employment
Management $104,477 19,310
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical $91,787 26,220
Architecture and Engineering $78,766 3,110
High Wage $95,992 48,640
Computer and Mathematical $71,432 4,040
Business and Financial Operations $68,121 12,500
Life, Physical, and Social Science $65,348 3,010
Education, Training, and Library $56,921 39,200
Protective Service $54,001 9,790
Construction and Extraction $51,498 16,270
Community and Social Service $49,028 8,320
Middle Wage $57,182 93,430
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair $48,323 18,200
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media $45,865 2,920
Production $37,294 31,720
Office and Administrative Support $37,114 71,370
Transportation and Material Moving $36,469 49,870
Sales and Related $34,900 46,360
Healthcare Support $34,591 12,580
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance $31,151 13,170
Personal Care and Service $26,665 13,700
Food Preparation and Service Related $25,817 41,110
Farming, Fishing, and Forestry $24,346 20,980
Low Wage $34,332 321,980

Data for this indicator was obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Occupational Employment Statistics (OES). The wage level categories were chosen by CBPR staff. The average wage for each category is a weighted average based on employment levels for each occupation. Total employment and the change in employment are sums of each of the occupations in the three wage categories.

This table shows the 20 aggregate occupation categories used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The table is sorted by the mean yearly wage for the NSJV and presents information on the number of employees in 2015 and the change in employment between 2005 and 2015. There are almost 7 times as many

There are almost 7 times as many low wage jobs in the NSJV than high wage jobs. Management occupations have the highest mean wage and are also the only occupational group to have a mean wage over $100,000 per year. A major occupational group in the agricultural sector, Farming, Fishing and Forestry, has the lowest wage of any occupation in the NSJV, earning approximately $22,000 per year. Growth in employment since 2005 has been limited to high and low wage occupations. Middle wage occupations have seen a decrease in employment since 2005, likely due to the large decrease in construction jobs in the region.

Data for this indicator was obtained from the California Employment Development Department (EDD). Select sectors were combined into supersectors.

This graph shows the sectoral composition of employment in the NSJV in 2015. The sectors shown consist of the 11 aggregate sectors reported in the California Employment Development Department data. The NSJV’s built and natural infrastructure are well situated to serve as a transportation and logistics hub to the San Francisco Bay Area and the Sacramento Area. This is reflected in the employment data as the largest sector by employment in the NSJV is trade, transportation & utilities (21% of employment). Rounding out the largest three sectors are Government (17% of employment) and Education & Health Services (16% of employment). Worth noting is that while Agriculture & Natural Resources makes up only 9% of NSJV employment, that is three times the percent of workers in that sector statewide.

Data for this indicator was obtained from the California Employment Development Department (EDD). Select sectors were combined into supersectors.

This graph shows the numerical change in employment in each sector in the NSJV between 2005 and 2015. The largest growth is seen in Education & Health Services, which added almost 19,000 jobs since 2005 despite the effects of the Great Recession. Both the Trade, Transportation, & Utilities and Agriculture sectors have also added a significant number of jobs since 2005. This reflects the strength and importance of agriculture to the region and also underscores the rise of the NSJV as a logistics and transportation hub for Northern California. On the other end of the spectrum, the largest job loss was in the Construction sector. This is not surprising as the region was greatly affected by the housing crisis.

Data for this indicator was obtained from the California Employment Development Department (EDD). Select sectors were combined into supersectors.

This graph shows the numerical change in employment in each sector in the NSJV between March 2015 and March 2016. As the economic recovery continues, all sectors in the NSJV, except for Agriculture, have seen job growth in the past year with the largest growth seen in the Trade, Transportation, & Utilities sector which added approximately 4,000 jobs between March 2015 and March 2016.

Between March 2015 and March 2016, the Agriculture sector lost approximately 1,000 jobs. This is likely the result of a combination of decreasing commodity prices and the effects of the drought having a noticeable negative impact on agriculture in California.