California's Unemployment Up For Third Month Straight

Share |
(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, August 15, 2008

According to new figures from the state, the jobless rate was seven-point three percent in July….up from seven percent in June.   
California lost nearly 15-thousand jobs last month.   Most of those were in the housing sector – which includes construction.  Howard Roth is Chief Economist for the state Department of Finance.  He says so far the housing slump has been largely to blame, but he’s starting to see slower growth in other places, too: 
“We’re seeing it in some of the other sectors like retail sales and leisure and hospitality and that has to do with consumers being squeezed by higher gasoline prices and higher food prices.”
Roth says high-tech continues to be a bright spot.  He says that’s why the San Francisco Bay area is doing better than other major metro areas in the state.
He says he expects the jobless rate to continue its upward climb until the housing slump picks up.  The last time the state’s unemployment rate was this high was 1996, when California was working its way out of the recession of the early 90’s. 
County break-outs: 
·        Sacramento county’s unemployment rate was seven-point-five percent.   Placer and Eldorado counties’ rates were lower: six-point-eight percent.  And Yolo county’s jobless rate for July was seven-point-one percent.
·        San Diego county’s unemployment rate for July was six-point-four percent.
·        Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate for July was higher than the state average – it was eight-point-one percent.
·        San Francisco County’s rate was five-point-eight percent.
·        Shasta county’s unemployment rate was nine-point-nine percent in July.
·        Butte (BYOOT) county’s unemployment rate was eight-point-nine percent. 
The highest rate was in Imperial county – 23.3 percent.