Home Front

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

March 27, 2009
It's not just California

    We like to think that California's got it the worst. That was the case the last two recessions, when aerospace fell apart in the 1990s and the dot-com's imploded in 2001. And with all the foreclosure activity going on, we figured Calfiornia was the biggest victim of the current recession.

    Maybe not. Palo Alto economist Stephen Levy looked at the latest state-by-state job numbers, just out from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and determined that at least 10 states are losing jobs at a faster pace than California.

     Over the past 12 months, California has lost 4 percent of its jobs - a pretty hefty figure. It's elevated the state's unemployment rate to 10.5 percent. (That's tied with Rhode Island for fifth highest).

   In terms of year-over-year percentage job loss, nine other states are in worse shape than California. Arizona is doing the worst, having lost 6.7 percent of its jobs in the past year. (Although its total unemployment rate is "only" 7.4 percent.

     Next in terms of job loss is Michigan at 6.5 percent, then Nevada at 5.2 percent.

    Levy, head of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy, makes another interesting point: Business folks often lament about the loss of California jobs to neighboring states, but California's neighbors are among the biggest bleeders: Arizona, Nevada and Oregon (which has lost 4.7 percent of its jobs).

    Here's a link to the state-by-state numbers from BLS.    

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