California economy shows ‘staggering’ improvement | Business


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s economy roared to life in February as employers added a surprising 138,100 new jobs, accounting for more than 20% of all employment gains nationally.

“It’s a staggering jump,” said Michael Bernick, a former director of the state Employment Development Department who is now an attorney with the firm Duane Morris. “Virtually all sectors are showing gains.”

Ten of the state’s 11 industry sectors added jobs in February. The leisure and hospitality sector had the biggest jump, adding 30,400 jobs. Most of that happened in Los Angeles County, which is heading into its first somewhat normal tourism season since 2019. The county, which has an outsized number of service industry jobs, accounted for 44% of all job gains in the state.

California — the nation’s most populous state with nearly 40 million residents — was the first to issue a statewide stay-at-home order at the start of the…

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