A report issued by the Wells Fargo Economics Group noted that California lost 31,600 jobs in January—the largest single-month decline in over four years. Non-farm payrolls dropped .2 percent during the month of January. The decline from December, 2013 to January, 2014 was the largest one month drop since September, 2009.
However, the report noted a few factors that helped assuage some of the economic pain experienced by California, commenting, "Part of the sting from that decline was offset by a significant upward revision to job growth during the previous year."
The Wells Fargo Economics Group posits that much of January's job decline was precipitated by seasonal factors, specifically job losses in the information sector. A decline of 12,700 information sector jobs was reported by the group, mainly in the state's volatile motion picture business.
Retail trade jobs tumbled as well, losing 14,300 jobs. Government, construction, and the leisure and hospitality sector also rounded out major industries experiencing job losses.
Although experiencing a loss of jobs, the unemployment rate declined further in January. The report notes, "January’s 0.2-percentage-point drop in California's unemployment rate is another reason not to give too much credence to the one-month drop in nonfarm payrolls."
When considered on a yearly timeline, non-farm payrolls increased 2.6 percent, with 391,700 new jobs created in 2013.
The report was cautious to note, "The civilian labor force is still down on a year-to-year basis, however, which likely reflects the frustration some job seekers have had finding meaningful work."