The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

April 17, 2009
Cali unemployment: 11.2 percent

       

Here is economist Steve Levy's take on today's California jobs report:

California's unemployment rate reached 11.2% in March, the highest rate on record, topping the 11.0% rate of February 1983. The state lost an additional 62,100 jobs in March. For the past 12 months California has seen 637,400 jobs vanish and the state has lost 727,700 jobs since the peak in July 2007. The Jobs Story California lost jobs in March at the same rate as the nation. For the past year California suffered a 4.2% decline in job levels compared to the nation's 3.5% loss. California's higher rate of job loss is primarily the result of greater exposure to the housing downturn and related job losses in construction and finance. 

 

The nation's job losses are widespread. Thirteen states had greater percentage job losses than California including the three neighboring states of Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Five southern states, usually thought to have stronger job growth, posted higher job losses than California including Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina and Tennessee. 

Job losses were widespread with continuing losses in construction, manufacturing, finance, trade and temporary help services. 

 

The Unemployment Story 

The state's unemployment rate at 11.2% is the fourth highest in the nation behind Michigan, Oregon and South Carolina. There are now eight states with unemployment rates of 10% and above and that number will grow in the coming months. 

 

Why is California's unemployment rate so much higher than the national average when our job losses are only slightly above the nation's rate of decline?

Your browser may not support display of this image. 
 
 

Your browser may not support display of this image. 
 

California's unemployment rate is higher because, despite job losses throughout 2008, more than 300,000 workers joined the California labor force and , in effect, became instantly unemployed. For some reason California's labor force growth was three times the national average despite during this recession. 

 

Bottom Line Going Forward 

The job losses are not over and the unemployment rate has not peaked yet in California or in the nation. 

This news is not surprising and the March employment report is not surprising given the bad news in the national jobs report released two weeks ago. 

If the administration's anti-recession efforts succeed the rate of job loss should slow by July. We are seeing some positive economic news mixed in with the disappointing employment numbers and we should see more good news in the coming months. 

 

If the situation is not clearly getting better by July, I think we will see Plan B including additional stimulus efforts and efforts to help homeowners and state and local governments.

 
 

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.



About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

FOLLOW US | Get more from sacbee.com | Follow us on Twitter | Become a fan on Facebook | Watch Bee news, lifestyle videos | View our mobile versions | e-edition: Print edition online | What our bloggers are saying

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Stuart Leavenworth on Twitter

Follow "SacBeeEditBoard" on Twitter