California said Friday it has regained 2.7 million jobs lost at the start of the pandemic, a moment that typically celebrates the end of the recession but instead marks a time when the state has historically strong layoffs. Affected by signs of a volatile economy. tech industry.
The 56,700 jobs that California employers added in October were enough to exceed that mark, led by strong gains in the state’s health care, professional services and leisure and hospitality industries. California has now posted positive job growth for 13 months in a row.
“The pandemic has experienced the largest job losses in history,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at Loyola Marymount University. “The recovery was strong enough to replace lost jobs and even more. This is an important milestone for me.”
Despite the job gains, state officials have been warning of a possible economic downturn. Inflation continues to remain high, making everything more expensive. The Federal Reserve raised a significant interest rate, which had a chilling effect on the rest of the economy. Some of Silicon Valley’s best-known companies—Facebook, Lyft, Cisco, Salesforce—have announced layoffs. And California government officials announced Wednesday that they expect a budget deficit of $25 billion next year.
“California has already recovered all the jobs lost due to the recession caused by the pandemic, but we know that is not the goal,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement.
Those conflicting messages have made it difficult to understand the economic health of the state, which would have been the world’s fifth-largest economy if it were an independent country.
According to Michael Bernick, a former director of the Department of Employment Development, the recovery of jobs lost in the pandemic was much faster than in previous recessions, including the Great Recession, after which it took the state six years to recover all lost jobs. Went. from California who is now an attorney at the Duane Morris firm.
But it has taken California longer to recover all the lost jobs than the rest of the country.
“To some extent, we are lagging behind the American economy,” Sohn said. “The technology sector used to be the backbone of California’s economy, creating jobs. And now it’s become a burden.”
Zachary Davis, co-owner of four ice cream parlors and a coffee shop in downtown Santa Cruz, laid off 70 of his 75 employees at the start of the pandemic. More than two years later, the store now has 85 employees.
“Some things are better, others worse. Everything is different,” Davis said. “I certainly don’t feel like we’re back to where we were.”