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January 23, 2018

California’s Unemployment Rate Reaches All-Time Low

Pacific Union Chief Economist Selma Hepp takes a look at the latest employment numbers and trends in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.


  • In the last two months of 2017, California employers added more than 105,000 jobs, ending the year on an incredibly positive note. In fact, with more than 200,000 jobs added in the last four months of the year, it was the strongest streak of job growth in the state since the data series began almost 30 years ago.
  • California’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.3 percent, which marks the lowest point since 1976 according to a report from the state Employment Development Department. California’s unemployment rate is now only 0.2 percent higher than the national rate of 4.1 percent. This is incredible progress for California given that the unemployment rate peaked at more than 12 percent in 2010.
  • Nevertheless, the sharp drop in the state’s unemployment rate is a function of rising household unemployment but also a declining labor force. The decreasing labor force will pose further challenges for employment gains in 2018 as the state’s population growth continues to slow. In 2017, there were 240,200 new residents in California, which is a 0.6 percent annual increase. The long-time average population growth rate has generally been around 0.9 percent. Slower international migration and an increase in domestic migration are two factors that are contributing to lower population growth. We will expand on California’s population changes in a future analysis.


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About The Mark Company

The Mark Company is one of the nation’s premier urban residential marketing and sales firms. Founded by Alan Mark in 1997, The Mark Company provides a full range of core consulting services including analytics, design, marketing and sales for urban high-rises and suburban attached properties throughout the Western United States. The firm is a trusted partner to global leaders in residential development and finance, providing buyer-driven sales and marketing strategies that produce industry-leading results. The Mark Company has represented more than 10,000 residences and generated over $5 billion in sales for some of the nation’s most notable and successful developments including The Infinity in San Francisco, Evo in Los Angeles and The Martin in Las Vegas. Current projects include 181 Fremont Residences and The Austin in San Francisco and Cavalleri in Malibu. The Mark Company is a subsidiary of San Francisco-based Pacific Union International, the eighth-largest residential real estate brokerage in the U.S. based on 2016 sales volume of $10.15 billion. Pacific Union merged with Los Angeles-based brokerages John Aaroe Group in December 2016 and Partners Trust in August 2017. This strategic business collaboration links four of the strongest residential real estate firms on the West Coast, supporting combined 2016 production of $12.6 billion by 1,400 real estate professionals in 47 offices throughout California. For more information, please visit