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California unemployment for August 2008

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the employment statistics for August 2008 today, and, as expected on this International Talk Like a Pirate Day, rum drinking (but NOT in celebration) is encouraged by the numbers, for those of you so inclined.

Unemployment in California increased from 7.3% in July (7.4% as given in this latest news release) to 7.7% in August, tying with Mississippi. Quoting the news release: “In August, Michigan and Rhode Island posted the highest jobless rates, 8.9 and 8.5 percent, respectively. Six additional states recorded rates of more than 7.0 percent:  California and Mississippi, 7.7 percent each; South Carolina, 7.6 percent; Ohio, 7.4 percent; Illinois, 7.3 percent; and Nevada, 7.1 percent.”

In addition: “Forty-six states and the District of Columbia had statistically significant jobless rate increases from August 2007.  Rhode Island reported the largest rate increase (+3.4 percentage points) from a year earlier, followed by Florida (+2.3 points), California, Nevada, and North Carolina (+2.2 points each), and Illinois (+2.1 points).”

What is the old card player’s expression? “Read’em and weep!” There are even more statistics in the press release, for those of you from states in the U.S. that were not mentioned above.

There is another expression that may be relevant though, from the successful campaign of Bill Clinton in 1992 against George H.W. Bush – “It’s the economy, stupid.” However, this time around, BOTH Presidential hopefuls have (recently) adjusted their campaigns to respond to that same realization.

Also today: Both the state Assembly and Senate of California passed the state budget today, after reaching agreement with each other and with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday. The governor has said that he will sign the budget next week. As for me, in a state where ideologues of the Right and Left do such things as resurrect “dead” bills to grind their favorite axes on Labor Day Weekend during a budget impasse, I hesitate to write more about the budget until Arnold has signed it. I salute the governor for his moderate position and his repeated efforts to resolve the budget stalemate through compromise.

Wow, a busy day in California, in Sacramento and at the unemployment offices….

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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