California's Unemployment Rate Hits Ten-Percent Mark

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, February 27, 2009
The state Economic Development Department says last month’s jobless rate hit ten-point-one percent.   That’s up from a revised 8.7 percent in December.
State Department of Finance Economist Howard Roth says it’s California’s highest jump in a single month since 1983. 
But, Roth says he believes the January figure may be a little “artificially inflated” because California uses a national formula to determine local numbers…
“I mean to give you an idea…if that were to continue to happen in the remaining 11 months…we would end the year with 25-percent unemployment and nobody believes that’s going to happen…”
Still, Roth says the state lost more than 79-thousand jobs last month.
A lot of those were in construction, but he says retailers also laid off a lot of people.  The nation’s unemployment rate also went up to 7.6 percent.  Regional jobless figures for California won’t be released by the state until next week.