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CA January 2011 unemployment was 12.4%

According to the Employment Development Department (EDD) report released yesterday, California’s unemployment rate dropped only slightly in January 2011 to 12.4%, from 12.5% in December of 2010. The unemployment in the U.S. as a whole decreased to 9.0% in January 2011, as employers added 63,000 jobs. California employers added only 12,500 jobs in January. In February, U.S. employers added 192,000 jobs and unemployment dropped slightly to 8.9% (as I will discuss in a later blog). California’s numbers are not in for February, yet. The number of people unemployed in California was 2,248,000, which was down by 25,000 over the month but up by 8,000 as compared with January of last year. In January of 2010, California’s unemployment rate was 12.3%.

Employment in California totaled 13,971,200 in January, up 12,500 jobs since December, when a revised figure of 21,700 jobs were gained. From January 2010 through January 2011, California employment increased by 102,100 jobs, up 0.7%.

According to the EDD report:

“Five categories (mining and logging; construction; manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; and government) added jobs over the month, gaining 41,800 jobs. Trade, transportation and utilities posted the largest increase over the month, adding 19,200 jobs. Six categories (information; financial activities; professional and business services; educational and health services; leisure and hospitality; and other services) reported job declines this month, down 29,300 jobs. Information posted the largest decline over the month, down by 9,600 jobs.”

“Seven industry divisions (mining and logging; manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; information; professional and business services; educational and health services; and leisure and hospitality) posted job gains over the year, adding 175,100 jobs. Professional and business services posted the largest gain on a numerical basis, up by 60,400 jobs (up 3.0 percent). Mining and logging posted the largest gain on a percentage basis, up by 4.2 percent (an increase of 1,100 jobs).”

“Four categories (construction; financial activities; other services; and government) posted job declines over the year, down 73,000 jobs. Government posted the largest decline on both a numerical and percentage basis, down by 49,700 jobs (a decrease of 2.0 percent).”

Some 27 of California’s counties reported unemployment of greater than or equal to 15% in January of 2011, with Colusa County moving into the #1 spot with 27.8% unemployment. Eight counties posted seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates above 20%: Colusa (27.8%), Imperial (25.1%), Merced (21.2%), San Benito (20.6%), Siskiyou (21%), Sutter (21.5%), Trinity (21%) and Yuba (20.3%).

In California, part of the problem is that construction, which usually leads the way during a recovery, is still very weak, with the industry down almost 400,000 jobs from its peak in February 2006.

January was the fourth consecutive month of job growth, and California’s gains in January made up nearly 20% of the nation’s gains. Hopeful, since the nation gained a LOT more jobs in February, California will have, too!

We’ll keep that hope alive until we see the California numbers.

-Bill at

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