California Labor Report (June 2024)

Star Staffing Labor Report

Each month, Star Staffing, a California-based staffing agency compiles new data and shares expert insights on the state of hiring in California. This labor report covers the most recent employment data from May 2024 (released in early June).

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Included in this Report

  1. Takeaways from experts on this month’s trends
  2. California labor highlights (unemployment rates, industry details, etc.)
  3. Interpreting the data
  4. This month’s work culture news 
  5. Detailed Report: California unemployment rates by county
  6. Detailed Report: California resignation rates
  7. California labor law news and policy changes (if applicable)
  8. Great reads and resources


Expert Takeaways


“California is creating good jobs throughout the state to support Californians and their families. As the state’s economy grows and hits new milestones, we need to continue supporting and uplifting every community across California.”

– Califoria Governor Gavin Newsom in a press release regarding May 2024 employment numbers


“Recent indicators suggest that [U.S.] economic activity has continued to expand at a solid pace.  Job gains have remained strong, and the unemployment rate has remained low. Inflation has eased over the past year but remains elevated. In recent months, there has been modest further progress toward the Committee’s 2 percent inflation objective….The Committee seeks to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2 percent over the longer run. The Committee judges that the risks to achieving its employment and inflation goals have moved toward better balance over the past year.”

Federal Reserve Press Release


California Labor Market Highlights


Statewide: 5.2%

MoM: Down 0.1%

YoY: Up 0.7% compared to May 2023


Other highlights:

  • California added 43.7k jobs last month, making it the most significant increase in jobs since October 2023. The EDD describes this as a “continuation of California’s 2024 job growth trend” — great news for employers across the state.  (Source:


  • Eight of California’s 11 industries gained jobs, with particularly strong job growth in the hospitality industry — great news ahead of the busy hospitality season in California. (Source:


  • Finally, according to the California Center for Jobs & the Economy, a turning point for California’s current unemployment rate — marginally. “California unemployment was down 17,700, while US unemployment rose by 157,000,” the Center reports. That said, California’s unemployment is still above the one million mark for the fifth month in a row this year.


  • The center also reported that both non-farm jobs and employment numbers looked stronger in May 2024 than previous months — but not quite as strong as they did back in 2023 (compared to May of last year, employment is down by 115k workers). 


Around the U.S.: 

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the U.S. unemployment rate stayed about the same in May compared to April. That rate is higher than May 2023 — 4.0% versus 3.7% and roughly 6.6 million unemployed Americans versus 6.1 million this time last year.


  • Over at J.P. Morgan, strategists say that the May 2024 numbers are actually quite promising: “Our…view is that the May jobs data underscores the idea that the economy remains stronger than many people might think.” That’s in large part due to the 272k jobs added last month, which they say “sharply beat” predictions.  (via J.P. Morgan jobs report)


  • The CNBC has a nice chart of “where the jobs are” for May 2024 across the U.S., with the most jobs by far being added to health care and social assistance.


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Interpreting the Data

Much like the report from J.P.Morgan, the current California employment data seems to suggest that the economy is in better shape than it may seem to many Californians. We’ll continue to monitor the data, but now halfway through 2024, the consistent job gain statewide does look promising. As does the rise in hospitality numbers leading into the summer (and after a particularly wet winter that caused tourism numbers to drop, especially in parts of Northern California). Finally, in Northern California where Star Staffing is located, we’ve seen unemployment drop in every county in our area over the past three months. (More data by California county below.) We look forward to seeing if next month’s numbers follow a similar upward trend.

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Hiring & Work Culture Trends


  • California’s Workplace Violence Prevention Plan deadline is on July 1. Here’s a straightforward article recapping what you need to know (and where to find more information).



  • Can pre and post shift activities be compensated? Weintraub Tobin’s Labor and Employment Group has a quick podcast discussion that dives into the recent California Supreme Court case Huerta vs. CSI Electrical Contractors.



  • Last week, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board unanimously passed a series of heat standards called “Heat Illness Prevention in Indoor Place of Employment.” According to ABC News, “the new rules require employers to provide heat safety training, cooling areas and water when the indoor temperature reaches 82 degrees.”  The Office of Administrative Law (OAL) now has 30 days to review the standards — but, ABC News reports, given the incoming predicted heat waves in Southern California, the CAL OSHA board has asked the agency to expedite the matter in order to put the regulations into place sooner. For some tips on keeping summer workers safe, read our recent article on heat safety.


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Northern California Unemployment Rates by County


Alameda County: 3.9% (down from 4.4% MoM)

Alameda, Oakland, Hayward, Berkeley, San Leandro, Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin


Marin County: 3.0% (down from 3.4%)

Larkspur, Mill Valley, Novato, San Rafael


Napa County: 3.1% (down from 3.8%)

Napa, Yountville, St. Helena, Calistoga, American Canyon, Angwin


Sacramento County: 4.0% (down from 4.5%)

Sacramento, Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova, Folsom, Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks


San Joaquin County: 5.5%  (down from 6.6%)

Stockton, Lodi, Tracy, Manteca, Ripon, Lathrop


Sonoma County: 3.3% (down from 3.8%)

Sonoma, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Healdsburg, Rohnert Park, Sebastopol, Windsor, Bodega Bay


Solano County: 4.4% (down from 4.9%)

Fairfield, Vacaville, Vallejo, Benicia, Suisun City, Dixon, Rio Vista


Stanislaus County: 6.2% (down from 7.0%)

Ceres, Modesto, Oakdale, Patterson, Riverbank, Salida, Turlock


Yolo County: 4.2% (down from 5.1%)

Davis, West Sacramento, Woodland


Note: For Southern California unemployment rates, see


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California Labor Law/Policy Changes (2024)


Minimum Wage Increase

California’s minimum wage increased to $16/hour on Jan. 1, 2024. (More details.)


Paid Sick Leave Increase

As of January 1, 2024, California’s paid sick leave law has been expanded. Employers must allow workers to use at least 40 hours or five days of paid sick leave per yea (up from 24 hours or three days). Some cities or regions in California may require employers to provide additional sick leave. (More details.)


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Related Articles and Resources

From Star Staffing

Here are a few of the articles we published on hiring trends and California labor last month.


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Star Staffing is a woman-owned, award-winning recruiting and temp hiring firm with 6 branch locations throughout California.

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