Numbers lie. And so does today's new state job report -- which shows a net gain of more than 28,000 non-farm jobs in May and an improvement in the state unemployment rate, from 12.5 to 12.4 percent.
The problem? When you dig into the statistics, there was a gain more than 30,000 temporary federal jobs -- census workers. Remove that figure -- as we should -- from the data, and the state lost jobs again.
What's most frustrating is that California -- with all its advantages, from its weather to its position on the Pacific Rim to the diversity of its population -- lags the rest of the country. We have the third highest unemployment rate, and in our inland counties, total economic desperation.
Worst of all, it's not clear that anyone has a strategy for doing anything about it. Federal leaders have been loathe to provide California with any more assistance than was in the stimulus bill last year. And the state government is so broke that it's making matters worse with spending cuts and revenue increases.
On that happy note, have a great weekend.