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.




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  1. Steve Frank
    Steve Frank 25 March, 2013, 11:41

    While our “unemployment” rate is 9.8%, that is not the full problem. Per the government, if you work part time, you are not unemployed. So, our real unemployment and underemployment, plus those who have spent 99 weeks on unemployment and are off, are NOT counted properly. Our real unemployment is California is closer to 20% LA County lost 81,000 jobs in January. Kern County unemployment went UP by 1.2% in January. This is not a recovery.

    Reply this comment
  2. Rob McMillin
    Rob McMillin 25 March, 2013, 11:49

    One wonders how disability modifies this. NPR’s recent long-form piece on the subject shows it’s a pervasive replacement for welfare that operates as a sort of Roach Motel for workers: once in the system, they rarely leave it.

    Reply this comment
  3. Rob McMillin
    Rob McMillin 25 March, 2013, 11:50

    Also, such individuals do not show up in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Labor Force tallies. This could materially affect the overall unemployment figures by goosing them downward.

    Reply this comment
  4. Sean Morham
    Sean Morham 25 March, 2013, 12:40

    This means nothing. Everything not going well is the Republican’s fault.

    Reply this comment
  5. Tax Target
    Tax Target 25 March, 2013, 13:58

    Au contraire mon frere Morham… it means everything… and so there is no misunderstanding it is entirely the democraps fault, particularly in Kalifornsky where the central committee runs everything.

    Reply this comment
  6. philip inuhoff
    philip inuhoff 25 March, 2013, 14:20

    I just read a story about a California Alameda county commissioner (shovel counter) who will get $463,000/ year for the rest of her life.

    See? There is no problem in California. it’s all media hype.

    Reply this comment
  7. us citizen
    us citizen 25 March, 2013, 14:24

    Ahhh Sean……..are you really that uninformed?
    Exactly who is running this state? It ‘ain’t’ the repubs.

    Reply this comment
  8. Dyspeptic
    Dyspeptic 25 March, 2013, 14:31

    The 9.8% official unemployment figure is obviously propaganda. It’s supposed to make dopey collectivists like SkippingDog and Ted Steele feel better about the abysmal results their party has achieved. Their are so many Big Lies being told by and for The Oligarchs that you would need a Bureau of Official Lies just to keep track of them. The national unemployment figure of 7.7% is a complete joke and anyone who takes it at face value is a blithering idiot. I always add 50% to the official figures to get a more meaningful statistic. Maybe I should be adding 100%.

    Reply this comment
  9. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 25 March, 2013, 14:46

    #5 and #6—-

    I think Sean was being facetious. Even liberals can’t use that argument anymore (though they are fond of pointing out the failings of a fairly recent “Republican” governor…….But that’s about as far back as they can reach and still be taken semi-seriously.)

    Do not play into leftist’s hands (e.g. conservatives are humorless and slow on the up-take.)

    Reply this comment
  10. Sean Morham
    Sean Morham 25 March, 2013, 16:25


    Reply this comment
  11. Sean Morham
    Sean Morham 25 March, 2013, 16:30

    Phillip, I meant to add. Her Alameda supervisor said she is worth every cent. I heard that from a member of our city council. the cops and firefighters are worth every cent they are paid, same for the town clerk at $156k. There must be a gov t manual to have those quips handy. If you continue to argue they are overpaid, then it becomes the banks and Wall Street are the problem(well, that is another story). The goal of the gov t dweebs is protect the status quo…the gravy train for many(too) is sweet.

    Reply this comment
  12. barb
    barb 25 March, 2013, 16:39

    Id love to see stats on small business startups in this state. I bet theyre just as abysmal as unemployment. Who in their right mind would start a business here?

    You never know from one yr to the next if youll see retroactive taxes! A scary, odd state! I know, I know, but the weather is nice!

    Reply this comment
  13. Brown delta trout
    Brown delta trout 26 March, 2013, 09:25

    The fishin’ is good too, you can earn enough on welfare to pay for premium bait and a good umbrella under which to drink your government sponsored lemonade.

    Reply this comment
  14. Hondo
    Hondo 26 March, 2013, 11:09

    Kalifornia is the greatest place on earth to be unemployed.
    To our fine liberal friends who comment here and trash all we non liberals say, I say to you…
    And I take no pleasure in being right on this issue. This depression in Kalifornia has hit my extended family hard. My family is not the 47%. We all work, none have been in prison(yes, a few have spent a night in jail). We are mostly lower middle class. Family members have lost homes, and have homes underwater. Adult children have had to move away from their families and friends to other states to find work. I talked about the reverse of ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ a year ago. Our kids are fleeing this state for the drought striken midwest to find work.
    Kalifornia has more economic assets than any place on earth. All the liberals have to agree to that.
    Why then, is our state in such a catastrophe.

    Reply this comment
  15. stolson
    stolson 26 March, 2013, 16:31

    The numbers are fudged. Many go to disability to survive and these numbers are not added. Then, some drop out after 2 years of looking. I surmise in certain inland areas it is almost 17 percent unemployemnt rate. Where will jobs conme from? Jerry Brown laughs off the fact that companies are being wooed by other states to relocate; legislators ignore the seriousness of the employment picture. I don’t know what it will take to correct this–some type of massive wake up call?
    How will Nobamacare affect us? They will be including millions of illegals on it. I know they will limit care for seniors, and increase fees somehow–but overall, the state will be involved $$$.

    Reply this comment
  16. Queeg
    Queeg 26 March, 2013, 21:09

    Where is the Poodle?

    Reply this comment

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Jerry BrownJohn SeilerNevadaTaxesunemployment

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