California has reached 12.2 percent unemployment. With the results from a recent monthly study, it seems those numbers won’t drop anytime soon.
The Conference Board’s monthly Help-Wanted Online Data Series found that in California, online job listings are down about 5.5 percent. In August, job postings in California had been slightly up, but by September only 366,100 listings were posted compared with 387,300 in August.
Nationwide, there were 101,800 fewer postings in September compared to August.
Compared to this time last year, these numbers are much lower.
The survey looks at more than 1,200 major Internet job boards and smaller job boards.
Gad Levanon, senior economist at the Conference Board, acknowledges the drop but overall sees the California job market as fairly stable, albeit with smaller numbers compared to previous years.
“It’s not a huge drop, those measures are quite volatile,” Levanon said. “In California, it keeps more or less flat.”
It’s simple why the online listings are dropping; as companies eliminate more positions, they are not looking to find new people. In today’s economic world, it’s all about downsizing, Levanon said.
The jobs that do have postings online are more high-skill, specialized jobs. Health care and technical jobs are on the rise with 28,000 more postings nationwide in September. These areas have more listings even compared to last September.
“In low-skill jobs, such as construction, production and restaurant workers, it’s less common to use online resources,” Levanon added.
Todd Johnson, an economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, said he agrees that health care is the one area that is seeing employment growth.
“It’s because of an aging workforce,” Johnson said. “The ‘baby boomer’ cohort is moving into the 60 year-old area and there’s greater medical need.”
Johnson said that recent college graduates should be advised that struggling sectors now and in the near future include retail, wholesale and real estate – nationwide. In California, however, government is also an unstable career choice, while at the federal level, employment is more solid.
“The economy is like a big ship. It can’t move around that quickly,” he said.
At the UC Davis student employment center, assistant director Monica Pena-Villegas has seen the online listings stay fairly constant.
“We have seen no significant increase in jobs,” she said.
However, she said that jobs continue to be posted and don’t seem to be trending downward, compared to decreases she has seen in the past.
SASHA LEKACH can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.