California is one of a few states failing to recoup jobs at a pace on par with the rest of the nation. Its weekly unemployment claims make up almost 20% of the United States’ new claims — even though California supplies roughly 12% of the national workforce.

Many employers in the state are struggling with how to address this issue. CalMatters and the Milken Institute hosted a discussion about the path to recovery for California jobs on December 1.

The Post-COVID Recovery:
California’s lagging employment rate

What must California do to get more people back to work? This session focused in depth on what California and the state’s employers must embrace to ensure we attract and retain a robust workforce.

YouTube video


  • Julian Cañete, President & CEO, California Hispanic Chambers Of Commerce
  • Reign Free, Owner, Red Door Catering
  • Manuel Pastor, Distinguished Professor, Sociology/American Studies & Ethnicity Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change Director, USC Equity Research Institute
  • Somjita Mitra, Chief Economist, California Department of Finance

The conversation was moderated by CalMatters reporter Grace Gedye. You can watch a recording of the event, or read a recap of the conversation.

This discussion is part of the Future of Work series, conversations hosted by CalMatters and the Milken Institute exploring California’s recovery from recession and progress toward an economy centered on equity, mobility and opportunity.

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Courtney was the marketing coordinator at CalMatters, where she focused on developing audience relationships. She was an Editor-in-Chief at Cosumnes River College’s student newspaper before transferring...