Speaking of California’s Double-Digit Unemployment Rate…

Several recent forecasts predict very modest job growth in 2011 but still show a double-digit unemployment rate.

In October, Leslie Appleton Young, the California Association of Realtors’ chief economist, predicted an unemployment rate this year of 12.3 percent (See post below) and 11.4 percent in 2011.

On October 29, the Business Forecasting Center at the University of the Pacific in Stockton predicted 12 percent unemployment in 2011 for the Central Valley but unemployment dropping into the single digits in the Bay Area by the end of 2011.

The Sacramento area which includes El Dorado, Placer and Yolo counties, has the weakest outlook in the UOP forecast with no job growth projected in 2011 and a 12.8 percent unemployment rate, exceeding that of the state by almost a full percentage point.

California as a whole will have an unemployment rate above 10 percent for three more years.

“This quarterly forecast is a significant downward revision in the 2011 and 2012 outlook,” a press release announcing the report said.

The University of California at Los Angeles Anderson Forecast for the fourth quarter, released December 7, predicts “modest growth and distressingly high unemployment” for most of 2011.

To return to pre-recession workforce levels, the forecast says 1.3 million Californians need to be re-employed.

More positively, the UCLA forecast says there will be a statewide growth in employment of 1.6 percent – but most of the growth comes in the latter part of 2011.

By the end of 2011, however, the forecast says employment in California will grow faster than the national average.

Similarly, a forecast released December 6 by the A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research at Chapman University says California employment will increase by 1.2 percent next year, about 167,000 new jobs. It also says that since January 2010, California has gained 47,900 payroll jobs.

Chapman says the recession has ended. California employment peaked at 15.2 million jobs in July 2007. That number fell sharply in 2008 and 2009, the forecast notes, hitting bottom in December 2009 with a workforce of 13.8 million.

“The recession at the state level lasted 29 months with 1.4 million job losses or a decline of 9.2 percent,” the Chapman forecast concludes.


Filed under: Budget and Economy

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