Reeling from California’s lack of jobs

This article comes from First Tuesday Journal Online

Chart last updated 11/20/11

October 2011 September 2011 October 2010
CA Unemployment Rate
Number Unemployed
LFP Rate

Data courtesy of California Employment Development Department

For more employment information, see first tuesday’s Market Chart, Jobs Move Real Estate.

  • The most recent peak month for unemployment was January 2010, when 2,292,200 people were registered as unemployed in California, with an unemployment rate of 12.7%. These unemployment numbers exclude the  pool of individuals who have dropped out of the labor force entirely, either for retirement or because there is simply no work available.
  • The labor force participation (LFP) rate tracks the percentage of the state population who are actively working or looking for work. This rate has undergone a nearly-constant decline since the start of the Great Recession. [For more on LFP Rates, see first tuesday’s November 2010 article, The Demographics Forging California’s Real Estate Market (Part II).]
  • 33% of those unemployed in October 2011 had been without work for 52 weeks (one year) or more.

Unemployment Statewide

The above chart depicts joblessness in California over the past 30+ years as a percentage of the state’s total labor force, and encompasses several run-of-the-mill recessions. As shown on the charts, unemployment over the past year has lingered at a higher percentage of the labor force than at any time in recent history, following the sharpest spike in unemployment since the Great Depression. Expect our recovery to be correspondingly longer than the recessions of the past 35 years. (The above figures do not include those who have dropped out of the job market or are voluntarily unemployed.)


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