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California unemployment in September 2009: 12.2%

What looks like a plateau is actually a slight improvement in labor statistics. The August figure for California unemployment was revised UPWARD to 12.3%, but bad news seems better somehow, in retrospect.

California’s nonfarm payroll jobs declined by 39,300 during September, and CA’s unemployment rate was 12.2%, according to data released by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) yesterday. The U.S. unemployment rate in September was 9.8%. In September of 2008, California’s (revised) unemployment rate was 7.8%.

Nonfarm jobs in California in September totaled 14,200,400, down 39,300 over the month. The September 2008 to September 2009 year-over-year change was a decrease of 732,700, down 4.9%. The number of Californians HOLDING jobs in September was 16,137,000, down 6000 from August and down 896,000 from September 2008. The number of people unemployed in California was 2,247,000, down by 13,000 over the month but up by 799,000 as compared with September 2008.

Two categories (natural resources and mining; trade transportation and utilities) of employment ADDED jobs over the month of September and gained 4100 jobs. Nine categories (see the report for a list) reported job declines for September, down 43,4000 jobs. Construction posted the largest decline, down 14,100 jobs.

One industry, education and health services, posted job gains for the year, though, and added 11,800 jobs (0.7% gain). Ten categories posted job declines for the year, down 744,500 jobs. Trade, transportation, and utilities showed the largest decline on a numerical basis, down 172,400 jobs (down 6.1%). Construction showed the largest decline on a percentage basis, down b y 19.0% (a decrease of 144,000 jobs).

There were 744,924 people who received regular unemployment insurance benefits during the September survey week, as compared with 790,099 in August and 500,962 last year. New claims for unemployment insurance were 69,160 in September 2009, 69,488 in August 2009, and 53,418 in September 2008.

The EDD report contains additional tables of employment data. The number of California counties with unemployment rates over 15% is down to eight counties, with unemployment greatest in Imperial County (30.1% unemployment).

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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