California Still Has the Highest Jobless Rate in the Nation

The national unemployment rate is at its lowest level in decades. In March, the country added 315,000 jobs. In April, that number was a smaller yet robust 175,000. 

It’s a different story in California. On Friday, the Employment Development Department (EDD) announced the state had a net growth of just 5,200 jobs in April. The state’s unemployment rate kept steady at 5.3% — the highest of any U.S. state. 

“We just have real challenges here in California that other states don’t face,” Renee Ward, founder of, told the Los Angeles Times. These include higher costs and stricter regulations on businesses.

Only the healthcare and social assistance sectors are bucking the trend. They account for 75% of jobs added since April 2023.

The EDD’s monthly report came a week after Gov. Gavin Newsom issued his May revise, which includes an expected budget deficit of $27.6 billion. Despite state and local budgetary constraints, California’s public sector held steady, adding 2,600 jobs last month.

San Mateo County had the lowest unemployment rate in California last month (3.3%) followed by Marin and San Francisco (3.4%). Imperial had the highest unemployment rate (15.7%) followed by Colusa (15.4%).

Read the full report here

See also: As Tesla layoffs continue, here are 600 jobs the company cut in California