Home Front

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

March 5, 2009
Unemployment, Part 2

   The unemployment rate for Sacramento is 10.4 percent for January.

     Worse than we dared imagine. Here's the link to our online story.  

    This is the worst on record, although the records for local unemployment only go back to 1990. Chances are things were approximately this bad in Sacramento in the 1982 recession, says economist Jeff Michael at UOP.

      He and everyone else I talked to today say things will get worse.

      The December rate was 8.8 percent.

      The region lost 19,700 jobs  in January. January is always a bad month for unemployment. But things were worse than usual.

     Retailers cut 5,600 jobs - not an unusually high number for January, except when you consider that they did relatively little hiring in November and December. The January layoffs were more than the usual post-holiday cutbacks. They reflected "permanent'' jobs being sacrificed.

     It's no wonder when you consider all that's gone on, with Mervyns gone and Circuit City nearly gone. We'll probably know at the end of the month whether Gottschalks, now residing in Chapter 11, will make it.

    The construction industry also continues to suffer. It's not just housing anymore, as the commercial sector is weak. About one fourth of Local 340 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Sacramento is out of work, said local president Greg Larkins.

     We'll have a lot more in Friday's paper.  

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