Monday, September 28, 2009

The Severity of Unemployment in Califormia

Michael Bernick in the San Francisco Chronicle has a great summary:
The latest numbers show unemployment in California at 12.2 percent, its highest level since World War II...To be sure, since 1970 state unemployment has soared near or over double digits several times, and each time the economy came back. In the early 1980s, amid a downturn in heavy manufacturing, state unemployment reached 11 percent in February 1983, only to come back down to near 8 percent within a year. In 1993, with major cuts in defense and aerospace jobs, state unemployment reached 9.9 percent in January, but the figure came down to near 8 percent by November 1994.

During those recessions, unemployment seemed endless, but employer and consumer confidence returned, and hiring commenced in significant numbers.

The current California recession differs from those in the past...The 12.2 percent rate (affecting more than 2.2 million workers) is not only the highest, but it does not cover the roughly 1.3 percent of the California workforce (more than 200,000 workers) classified as discouraged workers or marginally attached or the roughly 5.8 percent (nearly 1 million workers) employed less than full time for economic reasons...

The construction sector in California is the biggest loser and continues to be in free-fall,losing more than 140,000 jobs over the year (18.5 percent of the total) and over 300,000 jobs since December 2006. Business and professional services (loss of 133,000 jobs over the year, 5.9 percent), and trade, transportation and utilities (loss of 191,000 jobs, 6.7 percent) also have seen dramatic cutbacks.

1 comment:

  1. California Unemployment Trends - August 2009

    California Unemployment Situation in Heat Map form:
    here is a map of California Unemployment in August 2009 (BLS data)

    versus California Unemployment Levels 1 year ago