Layoffs surge in California

California is one of just two states with a rising unemployment rate — and the situation is expected to get worse in the coming months, Newsweek reported March 7. 

According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 47,360 Californians filed for jobless benefits last week. That's a 6,150-person increase from the week prior and brings the state's unemployment rate to 5.1% (second only to Nevada, which sits at 5.3%). 

The problem is fueled by a surge of layoffs in the state. Warn Tracker, which monitors WARN notices, reported that California has already seen 22,280 layoff notifications this year. Many are set to take effect between March and May as large tech, retail and healthcare companies cut jobs en masse. 

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, gave Newsweek various reasons for the uptick, ranging from "a dip in economic activity to strategic shifts within companies adapting to a new economic landscape marked by technological advancements and altered consumer behavior." 

Mr. Shepherdson does not believe the layoffs spell "recession," but said they represent a "downshift in job growth." 

Nearly a quarter of the health systems that have reported job cuts since January are located in California, according to Becker's most recent coverage. Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Foundation Hospitals was the latest to announce layoffs, eliminating more than 70 employees, primarily in IT roles. 

Kaiser told the San Francisco Chronicle that the cuts were "difficult but necessary." 

Read the latest on layoffs in the healthcare industry here

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