California's Unemployment Rate Increases To 11.9 Percent

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
California's unemployment rate has climbed to a new record of 11.9 percent for the month of July. That's one of the worst in the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Central Valley Numbers:
Merced County – 17.6%, up more than 5% from July 2008
Tulare County – 15.3%
Fresno County – 15%
Madera County – 13.9%

Overall, California led the country in the number of jobs lost in July with 35,800 lost jobs.

Download Full EDD Report - PDF

Nationally, the unemployment rate stands at 9.4 percent.

California's unemployment rate was 11.9 percent in July, and nonfarm payroll jobs declined by 35,800 during the month, according to data released today by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) from two separate surveys.

The U.S. unemployment rate decreased in July, falling to 9.4 percent.

In June, the state's unemployment rate was 11.6 percent, and in July 2008, the unemployment rate was 7.3 percent. The unemployment rate is derived from a federal survey of 5,500 California households.

Nonfarm jobs in California totaled 14,249,600 in July, a decrease of 35,800 over the month, 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 (July 2008 to July 2009) shows a decrease of 760,200 jobs (down 5.1 percent).

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 July was 16,260,000, a decrease of 87,000 from June, and down 798,000 from the employment total in July of last year.

The number of people unemployed in California was 2,187,000 - up by 33,000 over the month, and up by 840,000 compared with July of last year.

EDD's report on payroll employment (wage and salary jobs) in the nonfarm industries of California totaled 14,249,600 in July, a net loss of 35,800 jobs since the June survey. This followed a loss of 66,100 jobs (as revised) in June.

Two categories (professional and business services and leisure and hospitality) added jobs over the month, gaining 2,900 jobs. Eight categories (construction; manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; information; financial activities; educational and health services; other services; and government) reported job declines this month, down 38,700 jobs. Trade, transportation and utilities posted the largest decline over the month, down by 15,900 jobs. One category, natural resources and mining, reported no change.

In a year-over-year comparison (July 2008 to July 2009), nonfarm payroll employment in California decreased by 760,200 jobs (down 5.1 percent).

One industry division, educational and health services, posted job gains over the year, adding 17,900 jobs (a 1.0 percent increase).

Ten categories (natural resources and mining; 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 778,100 jobs. Trade, transportation and utilities employment showed the largest decline on a numerical basis, down by 196,600 jobs (a decline of 6.9 percent). Construction posted the largest decline on a percentage basis, down by 18.6 percent (a decrease of 144,500 jobs).

In related data, the EDD reported that there were 812,165 people receiving regular unemployment insurance benefits during the July survey week. This compares with 820,387 last month and 480,226 last year. At the same time, new claims for unemployment insurance were 80,048 in July 2009, compared with 86,016 in June and 58,131 in July of last year.

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