CA now suffers nation’s worst unemployment

Unemployment Line - DepressionMarch 25, 2013

By John Seiler

Probably for the first time since it became a state in 1850, California now suffers the nation’s worst unemployment rate, at 9.8 percent in January. It’s tied with Rhode Island for that number, although R.I. has been improving faster. So next month California could win the booby prize all by itself.

The 9.8 percent rate is the same as the previous month, December 2012. And 9.8 percent itself is a high number. Even Silicon Valley’s unemployment rate was 8.2 percent, up from 7.8 percent in December.

Unemployment has been at 9.8 percent or higher since Feb. 2009 — three years of joblessness and stagnation.

Nevada’s unemployment, which had been higher than California’s, dropped to 9.7 percent in January.

U.S. unemployment wasn’t that great, either, at 7.9 percent in January 2013. It improved to 7.7 percent in February. (State data are not available yet for February.)

What we’re seeing is the effect of the massive California tax increases digging in. Rich people, hit with the new 13.3 percent top state income tax rate, have less money to invest in business and jobs creation. In campaigning for the Proposition 30 tax increase, Gov. Jerry Brown demanded that rich people “pay their fair share.” What he didn’t say was that rich people are the economy’s major investors. Taking more of their money would mean less investment in California businesses and jobs.

And the Prop. 30 sales tax increase also grabbed another $1 billion from the productive economy. That led to reduced sales, meaning fewer jobs in retail.

Look at the following graph, where the Nevada unemployment rate (red line) shoots up fast in the late 2000s, rising well above California’s (blue line). Nevada was hit harder even than California by the real estate crash. But then notice Nevada’s unemployment rate begins decreasing faster.

Calif. , Nev. unemployment, Jan. 2013

It’s especially outrageous that Brown has said almost nothing about jobs creation in his more than two years back in the governor’s chair. His priorities are funneling more money to his “troops,” as he calls government-union members; funding such boondoggles as the California High-Speed Rail Authority; and imposing AB 32 and other draconian, jobs-killing environmental edicts. If you criticize him, he brands you a “declinist.”

Meanwhile, productive people, including the wealthy to avoid that 13.3 percent top rate, continue fleeing the state.



Tags assigned to this article:
Jerry BrownJohn SeilerNevadaTaxesunemployment

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