Richmond’s record-low unemployment rate mirrors state trend

After months of relative peace, this resurgence of gun violence has parts of Richmond on edge. We cannot afford to be complacent.

Richmond’s unemployment rate in November 2017 dropped to 3.6-percent, “the lowest on record and possibly the lowest in history,” according to Richmond Mayor Tom Butt.

The California Employment Development Department’s Labor Market Information Division released the latest monthly figures on Friday. Of Richmond’s estimated labor force of 54,000 workers, roughly 1,900 were unemployed, according to the data.

The numbers are a far cry from 2011, when the city suffered through the recession and peaked at 18.5-percent unemployment, the mayor said.

The data mirrors a statewide trend, as California’s unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent in November, which the state Employment Development Department said is the lowest recorded number dating back to 1976.

That’s after nine of the state’s 11 industry sectors added 55,600 jobs in November, with education and health services posting the largest job increase, a gain of 16,700 jobs, followed by leisure and hospitality, up by 15,400 jobs, and professional and business services, up 13,700 jobs.

Construction, financial activities, manufacturing, other services, government, and mining and logging also added jobs last month.

Two industries in the state suffered month-over job losses, with a total of 8,200 fewer jobs. Information was down by 4,200 jobs followed by trade, transportation and utilities.

The national unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1 percent.

Contra Costa County overall has boasted low numbers at 3.1 percent, with San Pablo at 4.8 percent, El Cerrito at 2.7 percent, Pinole at 2.6 percent, East Richmond Heights at 1.6 percent, Pinole at 2.0 percent and El Sobrante at 3.6 percent.

County numbers, along with the methodology behind the monthly report, follow. For information on the methodology used to compile the monthly report, go here.


  1. If only they would finally starting investing in the city of Richmond. It so desperately needs upgraded infrastructure and new resources and stores for the community. For far too long the city has been neglected and as John Spartan pointed out, the leaders have allowed the crime and surpression to persist. We can no longer count on those governement vouchers we been receiving to subsidize everything (and President Trump will likley take away more with time) so we better start investing and bringing interest and income to Richmond.

    So many people love this city and want our area to thrive but all requests are falling on deaf ears. What is it going to take?