State Unemployment Rate Leaps to Record

California's unemployment rate climbed to a new record of 11.9 percent in July.

That's an increase from 11.6 percent in June and considerably higher than the jobless rate of 7.3 percent a year ago.

To help those numbers sink in, check out this simple graphic from It looks at the number of unemployed people per job posting for the 50 most populous metropolitan areas.

You'll have to scroll down and keep scrolling down to find Los Angeles and Riverside. LA has a ratio of one job posting per eight people. Riverside has a 1:7 ratio.

San Diego has one posting for every five people. San Francisco fares better with a 1:3 ratio. San Jose is at 1:2

The U.S. Department of Labor also reported Friday that California lost 87,000 jobs during the month. The trade, transportation and utilities sectors posted the largest drop, losing 15,900 jobs.

California lost fewer jobs than in June, when it shed 66,100 jobs and also saw new unemployment claims fall.

Stephen Levy, senior economist at the Palo Alto-based Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy, said the decline in job losses is a sign the state is "edging" toward the end of the recession.

"But we are still in recession," he said. "Job losses are job losses."

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Friday the numbers indicate the state still has work to do to "get California moving forward again. We must fix what is broken in this state."

The hardest-hit county in the state was Imperial with an unemployment rate of 30.2 percent, followed by Yuba, Merced and Trinity counties.

The state has lost 760,200 jobs since July 2008, a drop of 5.1 percent, according to the state's survey of 42,000 California businesses.

A smaller federal survey of households found a loss of 798,000 jobs since last July.

California is among 15 states and the District of Columbia that have jobless rates above 10 percent.       

It could be worse -- but only if you live in Michigan, Rhode Island or Nevada. Those are the only states with unemployment rates higher than California's.

Michigan's unemployment rate of 15 percent leads the nation -- and that's down from 15.2 percent in June.

Unemployment rose in 26 states in July, but overall the jobless rate notched down to 9.4 percent in July, from 9.5 percent in June.


Copyright AP - Associated Press
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