CA Unemployment Increased to 10.5% in February

March 20, 2009 11:25:50 AM PDT
California's unemployment rate was 10.5 percent in February, and nonfarm payroll jobs declined by 116,000 during the month, according to data released today by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) from two separate surveys.The state's unemployment rate climbed to 10.5 percent in February, for the state's second month of double-digit unemployment.

The California Employment Development Department reports the unemployment rate increased from 10.1 percent in January. The rate tops the national rate of 8.1 percent.

Overall nearly two million Californians are unemployed. The C.E.D.D. says sharp declines in construction, manufacturing, finance, trade, transportation, professional services, leisure, health and education are to blame for the losses.

Here at home five of six valley counties saw an increase in unemployment for the month of February. Unemployment in Fresno County is now above 16 percent, up nearly six percent from a year ago. Unemployment for Kings County is also above 16 percent while Madera County is just below 14 percent. Unemployment in Mariposa County stayed at 12.8 percent for February but that's up over 4 percent from 2008.

Merced County has the highest unemployment in the valley at 19.9 percent. Tulare County is the second highest at 17 percent.

Both Merced and Tulare saw an increase of unemployment of nearly six percent in the past year.

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The U.S. unemployment rate also increased in February to 8.1 percent.

In January, the state's unemployment rate was 10.1 percent, and in February 2008, the unemployment rate was 6.2 percent. The unemployment rate is derived from a federal survey of 5,500 California households.

Nonfarm jobs in California decreased by 116,000 over the month, for a total of 14,534,800, according to a survey of businesses that is larger and less variable statistically. The survey of 42,000 California businesses measures jobs in the economy. The year-over-year change (February 2008 to February 2009) shows a decrease of 605,900 jobs (down 4.0 percent).

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California Unemployment (Not seasonally adjusted)
Feb 2009 - 10.9%
Jan 2009 - 10.6%
Feb 2008 - 6.2%

Unemployment by County (Not seasonally adjusted)
Fresno County Feb. 08 - 10.7% | Feb. 09 - 15.7%
Tulare County Feb. 08 - 11.2% | Feb. 09 - 16.2%
Merced County Feb. 08 - 13.6% | Feb. 09 - 18.9%
Mariposa County Feb. 08 - 8.3% | Feb. 09 - 12.8%
Kings County Feb. 08 - 11.3% | Feb. 09 - 15.6%
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EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT IN CALIFORNIA

The federal survey of households, done with a smaller sample than the survey of employers, shows a decrease in the number of employed people. It estimates the number of Californians holding jobs in February was 16,621,000, a decrease of 47,000 from January, and down 495,000 from the employment total in February of last year.

The number of people unemployed in California was 1,950,000 ? up by 80,000 over the month, and up by 824,000 compared with February of last year.

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PAYROLL EMPLOYMENT DETAIL (SEASONALLY ADJUSTED)

EDD's report on payroll employment (wage and salary jobs) in the nonfarm industries of California totaled 14,534,800 in February, a net loss of 116,000 jobs since the January survey. This followed a loss of 76,600 jobs (as revised) in January.

One category, information, added jobs over the month, gaining 7,900 jobs. Ten categories (natural resources and mining; construction; manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; financial activities; professional and business services; educational and health services; leisure and hospitality; other services; and government) reported job declines this month, down 123,900 jobs. Construction posted the largest decline over the month, down by 30,900 jobs.

In a year-over-year comparison (February 2008 to February 2009), nonfarm payroll employment in California decreased by 605,900 jobs (down 4.0 percent).

Two industry divisions (natural resources and mining and educational and health services) posted job gains over the year, adding 31,000 jobs. Educational and health services showed the strongest gain on both a numerical and percentage basis, adding 30,900 jobs (a 1.8 percent increase).

Nine categories (construction; manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; information; financial activities; professional and business services; leisure and hospitality; other services; and government) posted job declines over the year, down 636,900 jobs. Trade, transportation and utilities employment showed the largest decline on a numerical basis, down by 159,900 jobs (a decline of 5.5 percent). Construction posted the largest decline on a percentage basis, down by 18.5 percent (a decrease of 155,100 jobs).

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UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE CLAIMS (NOT SEASONALLY ADJUSTED)

In related data, the EDD reported that there were 768,762 people receiving regular unemployment insurance benefits during the February survey week. This compares with 717,525 last month and 480,504 last year. At the same time, new claims for unemployment insurance were 76,303 in February 2009, compared with 75,514 in January and 49,321 in February of last year.

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