The “Alarming” Rise in California’s Long-term Unemployed

At 11.1 percent, California has the highest unemployment rate in the country, next to Nevada.

That’s a little over 2 million Californians without jobs.

And more than one-third of them haven’t been able to find work for over one year.

Nearly half of those 2 million Californians have been without work for more than six months – an “alarming” trend according to a recent report by the Legislative Analyst on the state of the state’s economy and what that means for the budget.

 “The number of Californians unemployed for long periods has skyrocketed,” the analyst writes. 

In December 2011, the number of unemployed still looking for work after 26 weeks was 43 percent of the number of persons unemployed nationally and 46 percent of those in California.

The number of long-term unemployed has nearly doubled since 2009.

While the number of Californians unemployed for 27 to 51 weeks fell in 2011 – from 321,000 in December 2010 to 246,000 in December 2011 – those unemployed for one year or more rose from 704,00 to 718,000.

What this means, the analyst says, is that “there is a significant population that may face permanent difficulties in reentering” the workforce.

That could be various reasons including not being able to keep up with advances in technology or business practices or their skills growing rusty.

“California governments, families and nongovernmental organizations all will have some higher costs in future years to help support these individuals,” writes the analyst. “This, in turn, may impair future economic growth to some extent.”



Filed under: Budget and Economy

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