Home Front

A blog about the economy and the Sacramento-area real estate market.

November 21, 2008
Unemployment shoots up

   The recession keeps worsening, and accelerating.

    That's the conclusion we can draw from this morning's state and local job numbers.

     The numbers are pretty bad. The state's unemployment rate jumped a half point to 8.2 percent in October, the state EDD said. Sacramento's unemployment also went up a half point, to 7.9 percent.

      For an interactive map of California unemployment, county-by-county, worked up by my colleague Phillip Reese, click here.

    Both the state and Sacramento area unemployment rates are the highest since 1994.

    The fact that things are getting worse probably isn't shocking. But this might be: Howard Roth, the state's chief economist, said the state's rate has risen 2.5 points since October 2007 - the biggest year-over-year increase since the deep recession of December 1982.

    It's hard to find much good news out there. I went to a job fair at Arco Arena this week and there was a 10-minute wait just to get into the building.

     Later, as I was driving around Elk Grove Auto Mall for a story, I was struck by the huge slug of unsold cars sitting in the lot of the just-closed Saturn dealership. Signs in the front of the lot still advertised a red-tag sale. The auto industry keeps teetering after its top executives made a less-than-successful trip to Capitol Hill for a bailout.

      The stock market rebounded today after word leaked about President-elect Obama's Treasury secretary. That's after successive days of eye-popping losses fueled by fresh fears of a full-scale financial meltdown. (By the way, what were traders thinking before this news leaked out? That Obama wouldn't name a Treasury secretary? That he would name Elmer Fudd? I don't quite understand the roller-coaster mentality of the stock market sometimes).

           Keep checking here and at  The Bee's home page for updates. We'll also have a complete report in Saturday's paper.

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