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Experts concerned how California's unemployment rate will impact small businesses

California's unemployment rate is highest of any state
California's unemployment rate is highest of any state 02:24

STOCKTON - California has the highest unemployment rate in the country.

California added more than 50,000 jobs in April two years ago, but the state only added 5,200 jobs this past April. It's a troubling trend that some experts are concerned about how it impacts small business owners.

Experts say that this is cause for worry, we've had good job growth years since 2021, and they're hopeful this troubling month doesn't mean employment is coming to a halt. 

They worry that mom-and-pop shops could be the most impacted with inflation already taking its toll. Small businesses in San Joaquin County are trying their best to stay afloat.

"As a business owner, as your cost starts to increase right, you start to think, can I absorb another salary," said Ed Snow.

Snow is the owner of Snow Properties, a three-employee business in Stockton.

He manages properties and HOAs for property owners and sees the impact the economy has on small businesses and their owners.

"It definitely comes down to at the beginning of the month, what am I gonna pay," he said.

"In terms of small business we're seeing the continued impacts of the economic shutdown during the pandemic," said Michael Bernick, a former director of the EDD.

He said these impacts stem from stimulus money and PPP money that was there for businesses now out of the picture.

Then, you bring in inflation, higher wages and costs, and business owners are paying for it.

"And declining consumer sentiment and tightening of consumer spending," said Bernick.

Snow said when dealing with properties and homeowners, he sees more homeowners having to make tougher decisions and cut on spending.

"Homeowners are looking at their wallets and saying, 'How do I prioritize and do I hold off and pay next month?'" Snow said.

This report isn't all bad news. Bernick said that the health care industry added 11,000 jobs, keeping the job market afloat. 

Right now the state has 740,000 job openings. It's just a matter of being competitive and finding the right fit.

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