California’s Unemployment Rate at 11.5 percent in May

From the Sacramento Bee:

California‘s unemployment rate climbed to 11.5 percent in May, the highest in modern record-keeping, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Friday.

The loss of another 69,000 jobs comes as a blow to the state after unemployment dipped slightly to 11.1 percent in April, according to revised figures. The California Employment Development Department said the government posted the largest job declines in the month, down by 14,200 jobs. Every other sector besides education and health services also saw losses.

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23 Responses to “California’s Unemployment Rate at 11.5 percent in May”


  1. 1 Hong Truong June 21, 2009 at 7:55 PM

    Yes unemployment is very low, the unemployment rate for the 22.4 million veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces was 4.6 percent in 2008. The jobless rate for the nearly 1.7 million men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces since September 2001 was 7.3 percent.

  2. 2 Dale Tu June 22, 2009 at 2:48 PM

    I agree with Hong, with unemployment rate at about 9.2% which increased in a fast amount. In my opinion I would think that the government can do something about this, even though they are about $10 million dollars in public debt. In my opinion, with the Armed forces, I think that they should not be jobless espeically with all their training and their backgrounds.

  3. 3 Lauren Swartz June 22, 2009 at 3:21 PM

    According to tha Buerau of Labor Statistics website California’s rate of 11.5% puts us at the 5th highest after only Michigan at 14.1%, Oregon at 12.4% and Rhode Island and South Carolina at 12.1%. Even scarier is imagining how the ranking might change with California’s looming program cuts and the possible layoffs and wage rollbacks that could result from it!

  4. 4 Nick Rood June 22, 2009 at 5:00 PM

    To comment on the unemployment of Armed Forces: Sure, most may be extrememly well trained in extremely localized areas (i.e. pilots/computer programers), or even general areas such as leadership, but how well do those traits cross over to non-military occupations. How well would a jet fighter pilot fly a 727. Wouldn’t someone who was trained in organizational and business leadership be more suitable to lead a department than a General of a combat mission. The armed forces is a temporary solution to employement for our youth, but in a time of high unemployment, it does little to ensure job security.

  5. 5 Dave Stevenson June 23, 2009 at 11:42 AM

    To Nick’s point, in a time of high-unemployment, nothing does much to ensure job security. I am being laid off from my job later this year after being there for 15 years…it affects everyone.
    However, I think the military does a bit more for the long term than you think. Sure a fighter pilot doesn’t have a truly lateral position in the domestic world; however, he is still a pilot with much more training than someone at southwest would have, so it can be applied in the domestic job field. Maybe he goes to work for Boeing as an engineer. Many youth use the military to teach them general skills, not just specialized ones, and as someone that hires staff, all other things equal, I would hire the ex-military over a civilian due to the training he/she has received.
    14% in Michigan, and will probably only get worse with GM’s BK…ouch.

  6. 6 Amanda Smith June 23, 2009 at 12:11 PM

    It strikes me as a funny thing to think about all of the people being laid off and all of these job cuts occuring, when we just recently voted on props to create more (if not temporary) jobs for these unemployed people. If we are laying off all of them because we cant afford to pay them or what not, how are we expecting to do so with these BS jobs the government is trying to create for them?

  7. 7 Kate MacPherson June 23, 2009 at 12:23 PM

    As one of the 11.1% of Californians on unemployment, I felt an urge to comment on this particular topic. I used to work for a spa in Calistoga and due to the economic down turn no one is willing to splurge on going to a spa anymore. I was laid off in the end. Its hard to get unemployment, I had to fight for it in court. Once I did, it was a lump sum, and now i only have 2 checks left until I can file for an extension. Which is like starting all over again!
    I have looked for work but either the pay is too little, or no one worth working for is hiring. I support my 5 yr old daughter and myself, with rend and a car payment and insurance on top of it all. That’s why I am bettering myself by going to school to earn a degree to get a better paying job. Im glad there is unemployment, Because if I had to go get a job at taco bell, I would find it harder to support my daughter, and I would never make anything of myself because I wouldn’t have the opportunity to go to school.

  8. 8 Britt Rockseth June 23, 2009 at 5:25 PM

    When is enough going to be enough? Today i was watching the presidents speech and during the questioning, people were asking when is it going to get high enough that we say no more? How long can we go, how many jobs are going to be lost until we finally reazlie that nothing can be done about it until we have to start from the very bottom like during the depression? Even though this is said to be worse than the depression, when are we going to come out of this unemployment, job loss, housing market slup?

  9. 9 Evangelina Alvarez June 23, 2009 at 9:15 PM

    Though I have heard the numbers, I didn’t believe that unemployment was really occuring, especially in Napa. I had a job at $11 an hour and I choose to leave and so I didn’t really understand the struggle people were going through to find a job until recently. In the last month I have tried to get a job and have been turned down 3 times, by turned down I mean, the positions been filled or I’ve never been contacted again. I’m nineteen, though I don’t possess many skills, I’m the perfect candidate for say a fast food place and even they can’t hire me now. If I can’t find a job out there and I’m looking at the lowest of them, then who can?

  10. 10 Dave Crider June 25, 2009 at 1:50 PM

    Things are certainly going to get worse before they get better. I was just recently reading the ideas to cut funding for public schools and community colleges. So there will be more lay-offs coming through the education sector which has already been hit hard. The president rushed his stimulus package through after he took office and yet we haven’t seen any benefit in jobs from that yet. Will we ever? I am starting to agree with the republicans that we should have just left well enough alone and ride it out. I think the governments interference is causing more harm than good.

  11. 11 Tanisha/ Econ 100 June 25, 2009 at 3:22 PM

    Well, this is just saying that our economy is unstable. The numbers are going to keep fluctuating until we find some sort of solution. So, whoopie, the employment rates were lower in April. Look at them now. I’m trying to look at our situation in a positve way, but even I’m drowning in these “high waters.” So, I don’t know what to expect. All we can do is just wait it out. And hope it gets better.

  12. 12 Joseph Garcia June 25, 2009 at 7:17 PM

    Their last sentence does not hold true for the college I attend. “Every other sector besides education and health services also saw losses.” At the Cal State I attend, a lot of part-time lecturers and teachers for lab classes are not having their contract renewed for next year. It’s created a great shortage of classes. When I lived in the dorms, you need at least 12 units to continue living there. However, multiple other students could not find any open classes. It’s rather unfortunate for us because they have to hire worse teachers for the job.

  13. 13 James Dugger June 26, 2009 at 5:29 PM

    I haven’t been laid off yet, but I do work in a scary sector known as the non-profit sector. My hours have been cut however, as have a high percentage of my fellow employees. If you don’t know, the non-profit sector depends on donations, and from watching closely to what’s going on in this sector, they all appear to be receive HALF of what they received last year. On top of that, with all the state cuts going on, that is also have an adverse effect on non-profits. The way this is going, I think non-profits just might disapear.

    I don’t want to be Mr. Negative, but things do not appear to be getting better. Beyond just the current unemployement rate, how many people have hours cuts? How many people have had their benefits cut? Or told they will not be getting raises this year?

    Jobs need to be created, and the way things are going, it’s a perpetual cycle of endless cuts and losses. Employers wants to protect their businesses, and in order to survive they need to cut expenses, and that tends to lead to job less that leads to less money to be spent in businesses that leads to more job losses – etcetera. Hopefully you follow that!

  14. 14 Caroline Rice June 26, 2009 at 5:33 PM

    I find myself wondering what makes the unemployment rate so high in California? Do we have so many luxury industries that when there is a recession/depression we are automatically hit harder than other states who have more necessary industries? The Sacramento Bee article did list the four states with higher rates than ours. They are producers of luxury items, as well: Michigan – cars, high tech & tourism; South Carolina – cars, tobacco (federal tax hikes) & tourism; Rhode Island – health & tourism; Oregon – lumber, tourism & high tech. I think that the unemployment rate for California and these other states wil continue to grow until “necessary” industries expand/are created or until the economy turns around and people feel comfortable splurging on the luxuries again.

  15. 15 Jennifer Wienecke-Friedman June 26, 2009 at 9:20 PM

    The economic downturn becoming a recession then depression is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Companies fear no one will spend money so they lay off people. People are scared they will loose their jobs so they stop spending money. It seems that if we stop being scared of the future we would not be in such a mess.

  16. 16 Patrick Powers June 28, 2009 at 11:08 AM

    Unfortunately, I can not say that I have a solution for California’s increasing high unemployment rate. I was thinking, though, that it seems that if only there were less people in California/United States this would be less of a problem. Since more people means more houses and goods, which means they need money, which means they need jobs, which makes employment more competitive. Instead of having so many people in California, maybe California should invest more in tourism so that people will come visit and spend money, but make sure they don’t live here and be involved in the competition for jobs. Just a thought.

  17. 17 wongt June 28, 2009 at 4:46 PM

    California’s unemployment figures didn’t hit me until I started hearing from numerous friends who’ve lost their jobs. All of them have been with their companies at least four years. They’ve applied to a lot of different places and haven’t had any luck.

    I worry myself sometimes because I work for the state and it seems that it isn’t getting any better. The subject of cuts in my department is becoming an all too familiar topic in our conversations at work. I hope the folks in Sacramento figure this out so we can start seeing a light at the end of the tunnel…

  18. 18 Alma Tenorio June 30, 2009 at 12:19 AM

    It is unbelievable the situation we are all going through. Although I do see around me the effects of the economy, I am unable to grasp what 11.5% of unemployed people looks like. Would that be the population of LA as a whole plus maybe San Diego’s population? I wish I understood better at what point the percentage of unemployed Californians will really jeopardize California to the extremity.

  19. 19 Erica Cardenas June 30, 2009 at 7:10 PM

    The situation that we are faced with right now is crazy and scary for all of us. I have been working since I was 14, whis is well over 13 years and I am currently in the banking industry. In my career I have never experienced so many people going through a job loss. I am luck to say that I still have a job however, us who have a job have experienced an extremly decline in sales. We are all conected in one way or another. Those of us whom have a job are experincing the slowest periods in our career and those who are looking for a job are still searching.

  20. 20 Nathan Martin July 1, 2009 at 8:06 AM

    I think that part of this unemployment problem can be based on the work ethic and pride in workmanship found in the young working generation in America right now. As a member of that group of young employees, it is obvious to me that my peers rarely value a job well done. Most of us want it all and we want it now, and we are using the downturn of the economy as an excuse to be unemployed.

    Many fast food restaurants and retail stores are offering entry level positions but they cannot find people to fill these jobs. For the most part I believe this is because the value placed on a job well done has decreased in America’s youth. It is a lesson that I fear we will have to learn the hard way.

    Another thought is the lack of material prodcution in California right now, due to increased state taxes and regulations many companies have moved thier business headquarters out of the Golden State and into areas like Pheonix and Carson City, NV. This loss of large businesses surely must be contributing to the low employment rate.

  21. 21 KENDALL HOXSEY July 2, 2009 at 9:33 PM

    I view part of CA’s problem with the budget is that the state pays for so many on welfare and many of the states employees have built in retirement plans and/or benefits from all the tax payers. Granted I’m not saying that police officers do not deserve some of these benefits but shouldn’t there be some regulation? It is really sad that programs especially for schools have to be cut when they are the programs that should be cut last.

  22. 22 Tanisha/ Econ 100 July 9, 2009 at 11:50 AM

    It’s ridiculous the amount of people who are out of jobs. When will it get better? What needs to be done to create more jobs? There is no point in getting happy in a month where the percentage drops. That’s the time to monitor what we are doing differently. The economy is too unstable to claim that it will get better. Only to be let down a couple months down the road.

  23. 23 Sanamjit Bains July 29, 2009 at 10:52 PM

    These figures are no surprise considering the freeze on new hire that has been adopted by many companies and institutions around California. Its has been hard for new grad to find a job when there are hundreds of qualified people that apply for one position open.


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