Home Front

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

March 23, 2009
Down (and out) in the Valley

   I was in the San Joaquin Valley the other day, doing some reporting for an upcoming story, and things aren't pretty there.

    I spent the day in Merced, where unemployment has risen to 19.9 percent, but the misery isn't confined to that community. The unemployment rates around the Valley are staggering: 16.4 percent in Fresno, 14.7 percent in Bakersfield, 15.8 percent in San Joaquin, and so on. Just to the north of us, it's 19.1 percent in Sutter and 18.6 percent in Yuba.

       Things look like they're going to get worse in the Valley before they get better. Today we reported on the latest signal that Gottschalks' bankruptcy is going to wind up with the retailer going out of business. The Fresno institution is already peddling its store leases, even though the formal auction for its assets isn't until next Monday.

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