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California unemployment for December 2008

California’s unemployment rate soared to 9.3% in December 2008, as compared with the national rate of 7.2% in December 2008, and California’s 8.4% unemployment in November of 2008 and 5.9% unemployment in December of 2007.

California lost 78,200 nonfarm payroll jobs in December 2008. Unemployment in California has not been this high since January 1994. The latest figures from the Employment Development Department followed a revision of November’s (73,500) employment losses. California has lost almost 152,000 jobs in the last two months.

There is no “sunshine” that I can wrap around the latest figures. Yesterday, I heard about a former colleague getting laid off from one of my former employers in Silicon Valley. He will be in the January 2009 figures. Silicon Valley unemployment rose to 7.8% in December 2008, as compared to the 5.1% figure of December 2007.

The Sacramento Bee‘s Web site provides an interactive map of California unemployment in December 2008 by county. A headline on the main page says that the December 2008 job losses in California were the third highest monthly job losses since the end of World War II.

(Note added January 25, 2009: I should add that the heading for the interactive map published by the Sacramento Bee (above) states that 30 (count ’em) counties in California now have unemployment rates of higher than 10%. (That’s how “averages” work, right? If unemployment in Silicon Valley is HUGE at 7.8%, and the average is 9.3%, then somebody out there has much higher unemployment. In fact, the map has a shade of RED for a number of counties with greater than 12.1% unemployment.)

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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