First, the headline number, we are now approaching a 55-year high in unemployment here in California. The Union Tribune’s article has a nice graph:
Looking at the data directly, the situation is pretty grim. First, between Feb 2008 and Feb 2009 the number of jobs in the state went down 495,000, even though the state’s population went up. The number of unemployed adults in California increased 824,000 during this one-year period.
Here’s what’s really bad though: more than 20% of those losses occured just in the last month.
In three counties in California unemployment is above 20%, and in 4 more it is in the 18-20% range.
San Diego and Orange counties and the inner Bay Area are doing better and holding below 10%though still worse than the national averages. LA County is worse than average at 11%, and inland Southern California counties worse still: 14.7% employment in Kern, 11.9% in San Bernadino, 12.6% in Riverside, and 24.5% in Imperial.
You can see the most recent data here at the California Development Department website.