California Unemployment Statistics - 2019

As of January 2019, and according to the California Employment Development Department, California’s unemployment rate is 4.1%, which amounts to about 811,000 people that are unemployed in the state. San Mateo county has the lowest percentage of unemployment at 2% equalling about 9,500 individuals. However, the county with the actual lowest amount of people unemployed, not based on the percentage, is Alpine County with only 20 people that are unemployed. This low number attributes to the fact that Alpine County is California’s least populous county with only about 1,175 residents living there.
A few other notable statistics regarding California’s unemployment are:

  • Imperial County has the highest percentage of unemployment at 17.3%
  • Colusa County has the second highest at 15.7%
  • Then the third highest drops down to 9.6% in Tulare County
  • Los Angeles County is home to 239,900 unemployed, which puts the rate at about 4.6%
  • LA County, the largest county, is ranked 30th for unemployment

How does California size up to other states in the US?

New Hampshire and Iowa have the lowest rate at 2.4%, Alaska is the highest at 6.5%, and the US National unemployment rate is right at 4%, meaning California is falling just about in the average zone.

Historically, we can see that in 2010, the unemployment rate was highest in California at a stunning 12.2%, above the US unemployment rate which was high as well, at 9.5%. The current 4.1% rate is actually a record low in California. It can be said that an unemployment rate lower than 4% usually leads to higher inflation due to more workers having more money to spend and employers having to pay more to retain them. Job sectors that have increased in employment in the past several months are professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and government. Sectors that are losing jobs are educational and health services, information, and construction.

What is the minimum wage?

How do I get unemployment benefits?

If you are currently part of the 4.1% in California that is living unemployed, you may be able to apply for unemployment benefits. The Unemployment Insurance (UI) program provides benefits for those who have lost their jobs and meet the eligibility requirements. To be eligible you have to:

  • Have received enough wages during the base period to establish a claim
  • Be totally or partially unemployed
  • Be unemployed through no fault or your own
  • Be physically able to work
  • Be available for work
  • Be ready and willing to immediately accept work
  • Be actively looking for work
  • Be approved for training before training benefits can be paid

If you quit your job or were fired, you will be scheduled for an interview with an Employment Development Department interviewer. This will be your chance to explain your situation and make a case for receiving benefits. After the interviewer has obtained all the necessary information, they will make a decision to accept or deny you.

If you are accepted to receive unemployment payments then you will have to continuously certify yourself as eligible every two weeks. To remain eligible you must be:

  • Physically able to work
  • Available to work
  • Ready and willing to immediately accept work
  • Actively looking for work each week benefits are claimed

If you do not meet the criteria to be eligible then you will be scheduled for an interview so that the EDD can obtain more information. Make note of the fact that if you are denied benefits after either phone interview, then you are permitted to file an appeal claim. However, both sides are entitled to file an appeal, meaning, when your former employer is notified that you will be receiving payments from their account, they too can attempt to appeal this decision.

How do I file for unemployment?

In order to receive maximum benefits you must file your claim within the first week of losing your job. Waiting to file a claim can result in a delay in receiving benefits. The fastest way to file a claim is online. The information you will need to provide includes:

  • Last employer company name, supervisor’s name, address, and phone number
  • Last date worked and reason you are no longer working
  • Gross earnings in the last week you worked (beginning with Sunday and ending with your last day)
  • Information on all employers from last 18 months including
    • Name
    • Address
    • Dates of employment
    • Gross wages earned
    • Hours worked per week
    • Hourly rate of pay
    • Reason you are no longer working there
  • Citizenship status, if not a US citizen, information on your employment authorization document

If you are accepted, payments will be made directly to you. The minimum amount you may receive is $40 per week, while the maximum is $450 per week. The UI program is financed through taxes paid by your employer, your paycheck is not taxed for this program. The EDD claims the UI program is to help ensure that you can afford basic life necessities such as food, shelter, and clothing while looking for a new job. There are also community benefits reaped from the program. Most of the money spent is at local businesses, which in turn, helps stimulate and sustain the local economy.

Unemployment Attorney

If you have any questions regarding the process of filing for unemployment, feel free to give one of our experienced unemployment attorneys a call. We understand being unemployed is difficult and that’s why we want to help you in any way possible. Also, if you believe your rights were violated when losing your job, it’s worth speaking with one of our lawyers to see if you have a wrongful termination case. You deserve to be appreciated as an employee or as an individual that is persistent in finding a new job after losing one. Our lawyers will help make sure you are fully exercising your rights.

Free Consultation and Zero-Fee Guarantee

For a free consultation give us a call at 888-694-7132 or come in to one of our offices in Southern California. Let’s continue to keep this record-low rate for unemployment in California by making sure you go through your unemployment claim smooth and seamlessly. Our goal is for you to receive maximum benefits as soon as possible so that you can continue to search for a new job comfortably. Our unemployment attorneys also want to make sure that your termination was not illegal and that your employers have not implemented any unlawful practices on you. If you are already consulting with an attorney, we would like to offer you a free second opinion. If we find that your do you means to file a charge, we will take on your case free of charge. There will be no upfront fees applied to you, and we will only charge a small fee if we win your case. So don’t hesitate to meet with one of our skilled unemployment attorneys today.

Client Review

“This can be an ugly world and it is nice knowing lawyers such as Daniel to help people right a wrong when they have suffered at the hands of their employer. Daniel is one of the good guys out there and I strongly recommend his skills as an employment lawyer.”

Hoagland Stubbs
Client Review