Unemployment falls in CA as state boosts construction staffing

01.25.2012


California's unemployment dropped in December as strong construction staffing contributed to rising payrolls.
California's unemployment dropped in December as strong construction staffing contributed to rising payrolls.

Data provided by the Employment Development Department on Friday, January 20, revealed that the state's jobless rate declined 11.1 percent from the previous level of 11.3 percent, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Employers in the western state added 10,700 employees during the month, which added to the revised job gains of 24,700 for November, the media outlet reports. This job growth brought the payroll gains for 2011 to a net total of 240,300.

"The recovery has legs," Howard Roth, chief economist at the California Department of Finance, told the media outlet. "It's steady, and I think it's going to stick."

Data provided by The San Jose Business Journal indicates that the number of construction jobs in the state rose to 571,600 in December 2011 from its level of 550,300 during the same year in 2010. A total of 4,800 of these positions were created in California during the month, according to data provided by the Associated General Contractors of America.    

"It is encouraging that a clear majority of states added jobs during 2011, but it is too early to conclude that the industry is on a steady upswing," Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, said in a statement, according to the media outlet. "Public construction is likely to shrink in 2012 and there are many uncertainties about home building, office and retail construction."

A proposal that is being considered by the city of Anaheim that would provide hotel developers with $158 million in tax incentives to contribute to the building of 866 four-star rooms, The Orange County Register reports. Various industry insiders are supporting the proposal, stating that it could boost construction staffing by creating 3,200 construction jobs and another 1,200 permanent positions stemming from the opening of the hotels.