If it's hard for you to imagine the magnitude of California's unemployment epidemic, picture this:
You're in line at Starbucks. There are eight people ahead of you. Everyone's got a lot on their minds, but one person in particular is really stressed out. They lost their job.
It's that same scenario everywhere you go. Right now one out of nine Californians is out of work.
California's unemployment rate jumped to 11.2 percent in March, according to new figures released Friday by the state's Employment Development Department.
That's a new record, since these things started being recorded back in the '70s.
The national unemployment rate is 8.5 percent, and it's the same in Orange County. But the Inland Empire continues to take the brunt of the hit -- the jobless rate there is now 12.9 percent.
Whew. What's next? The bad news is, some analysts think we're going to continue to shed jobs through the summer.
The good news? Well it's not really good news, but even though California has the biggest population, it's not the worst in unemployment right now. We're actually fourth, behind Michigan, Oregon and South Carolina. Nobody wants to win that race.
Of course, if you're looking for a job, you might want to apply to the Employment Development Department, which hands out unemployment benefits.