California's Unemployment Rate Jumps

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, January 23, 2009

Howard Roth with the State’s Department of Finance says the news is grim. 

“Well, unfortunately I don’t think there’s much light at the end of the tunnel at this point.”

Roth is the Department’s Chief Economist.  He says the unemployment rate increased to nine-point-three percent last month.  That’s compared to November’s rate of eight-point-four percent.  California lost more than 78-thousand jobs in December.  And Roth says with the deepening recession, the real unemployment rate could be even higher

The unemployment numbers don’t include people who are working part-time but who really wish they were working full-time.  And then if you included people which – this gets a little iffy –who say, well, they’ve given up looking, if you added that in there, you could almost double the unemployment rate.”

Roth predicts that, at best, things could start flattening out by the end of the year.   County unemployment rates varied widely – from five-point four percent in Marin all the way up to 22-point six percent in Imperial county.