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CA unemployment was UP to 12.5% in December 2010

California’s unemployment rate ROSE in December 2010, to 12.5%, and nonfarm payroll jobs increased by only 4,900 during the month, according to data released by the Employment Development Department on Friday from two separate surveys. The U.S. unemployment rate declined to 9.4% in Decembe 2010. In December 2009, the unemployment rate in California was 12.3% (as revised).

Nonfarm jobs in California totaled 13,897,100 in December, an increase of 4,900 jobs over the month, and the year-over-year change (December 2009 to December 2010) showed an increase of 87,500 jobs (up 0.6 percent). The number of people unemployed in California was 2,269,000, which was up by 3,000 over the month, and up by 35,000 as compared with December of last year. Payroll employment (wage and salary jobs) in the nonfarm industries of California totaled 13,897,100 in December, a net gain of 4,900 jobs since the November survey. This followed a gain of 30,500 jobs (as revised) in November. From December 2009 to December 2010, nonfarm payroll employment in California increased by 87,500 jobs (up 0.6 percent).

It looks like employment is MOVING THE WRONG WAY in California! (Or moving the RIGHT way FAR too slowly….)

The EDD report states:

“Seven categories (manufacturing; information; financial activities; professional and business services; educational and health services; leisure and hospitality; and other services) added jobs over the month, gaining 33,700 jobs. Leisure and hospitality posted the largest increase over the month, adding 9,300 jobs. Four categories (mining and logging; construction; trade, transportation and utilities; and government) reported job declines this month, down 28,800 jobs. Government posted the largest decline over the month, down by 15,400 jobs.”

“Three categories (construction; trade, transportation and utilities; and government) posted job declines over the year, down 59,200 jobs. Construction employment showed the largest decline over the year on both a numerical and percentage basis, down by 32,900 jobs (a 5.8 percent decline).”

At the county level, 23 of California’s counties had unemployment rates of 15% or higher, with Imperial County once again #1 at 28.3%.

In the U.S., there were 404,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended Jan. 15, DOWN 37,000 from the week before.

Close but no cigar!

President Obama spoke with 20 business leaders on December 15 for more than four hours at Blair House about economic growth opportunities, improved workforce training, expanded private sector hiring and global competition. It looks like the business executives were not paying attention.

If you have been a regular reader of this blog (or have “done the math” yourself), you know that “American” corporations, after creating the Great Recession through irresponsible financial policies and the offshoring of jobs, have been content to sit on piles of cash or spend it abroad, rather than hire back American workers.

Both “American” business management (“leaders” is too strong a term) and the American public will get a chance to hear directly from President Obama during the State of the Union address this week on January 25. President Obama said that jobs and the economy will be central to the address.

“My principal focus, my number one focus, is going to be making sure that we are competitive, that we are growing, and we are creating jobs not just now but well into the future,” Obama said.

Let’s hope that the business executives listen THIS time. (Or that someone smacks them hard after the Republican response….)

(If you need something “lighter” to do during the address, you could try “The Barack Obama 2011 State of the Union Drinking Game” written by Political Comedian Will Durst for the San Francisco Chronicle.)

-Bill at

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