SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California’s jobless rate fell to 4.2 percent in May, with particularly low unemployment in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The state Employment Development Department said Friday that California added 19,400 nonfarm payroll jobs during the month.
The department says the new rate is hovering near the state’s record low of 4.1 percent set in July through December 2018.
Construction was the industry sector that saw the most jobs added, with 12,800.
Unemployment dipped below 3% in all nine counties making up the San Francisco Bay Area. San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties saw numbers below 2%.
The Bay Area hasn’t seen unemployment rates this low in more than 40 years, when the state changed the way it measured how many people were working.
San Mateo County, at 1.7% unemployment, had the lowest rate in the state in May, according to the state Employment Development Department. Marin and San Francisco Counties are tied for second at 1.9%; Santa Clara County is fourth at 2.1%, and Napa and Sonoma Counties are tied for fifth at 2.3%. The state unemployment rate is 3.5 %
“These are historically low numbers,” said Michael Bernick, the former director of the state Employment Development Department.
And this intense competition for employees is creating opportunities for people who have traditionally had a harder time getting work.
“In particular I think the employment of CalWorks recipients, of workers with developmental differences, of ex offenders,” Bernick said.
While tech companies are still flush with applicants, because they draw from around the country and around the world, smaller, local retailers have to come up with new incentives for new employees.
Juice Shop Owner Jake Gulick now pays cash bonuses to employees who get friends to come work.
This is a sellers market, and it’s potential employees who are doing the selling.
“It’s an ease of mind for sure being able to have a handful of jobs to choose from,” said Juice Shop employee Robbie Salmon. “You’re able to look at all the benefits of all the places that hire you; the product if you’re interested in the discount.”
© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.