California’s golden state image continues to be tarnished these days with its overall economy remaining soft into the summer of 2011. California recently released its unemployment rate for June rising slightly to 11.8% over the 11.7% rate for May. The June rate for the U.S. was 9.2%. The slight rise in California’s unemployment comes even as employers added workers. Overall the state had a net gain of 28,800 jobs in June recovering from a net loss of 21,100 jobs in May.
A sizable chunk of the 28,000 jobs California added in June were in the Bay Area, which continues to be a leader of the state’s recovery with the continued rise in internet and social media companies. Whatever job growth there is in California appears to be concentrated in affluent areas such as Silicon Valley and in high-paying fields such as professional services. Blue-collar trades such as construction and trucking continue to reduce workers.
Seven categories (manufacturing; information; financial activities; professional and business services; educational and health services; leisure and hospitality; and other services) added jobs over the month, gaining 40,900 jobs. Professional and business services posted the largest increase over the month, adding 16,400 jobs. Two categories (construction and trade, transportation and utilities) reported job declines over the month, down 12,100 jobs. Trade, transportation and utilities posted the largest decrease over the month, down 11,000 jobs. Two categories, mining and logging and government, recorded no change over the month.
It’s not very difficult to see why California’s unemployment is almost 12%. A full 28% of the state’s workers are in Los Angeles County with a labor force of 4.8 million and a 12.4% unemployment rate. An additional eight other counties have labor force numbers over 500,000 workers and make up more than 64% of the total California workforce. Except for Orange County, they all have double-digit unemployment rates. They include: Orange – 1.6 million workers, 9.2% unemployment; San Diego – 1.6 million workers, 10.4% unemployment; Riverside – 900,000 workers, 14.4% unemployment; Santa Clara – 875,000 workers, 10.3% unemployment; San Bernardino – 845,000 workers, 14.0% unemployment; Alameda – 745,000 workers, 10.9% unemployment; Sacramento – 670,000 workers, 12.6% unemployment and Contra Costa – 516,000 workers, 11.0% unemployment.
Compared to the other U.S. states, California has the third highest unemployment rate in the U.S. only behind Puerto Rico with 14.9% and Nevada with 12.4%. Other U.S. states with unemployment rates just below 10% and above include Rhode Island, Florida, Michigan, South Carolina, District of Columbia, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina. The 10 U.S. states with the lowest unemployment rates of 6.0% or under include: North Dakota (3.2%); Nebraska (4.1%); South Dakota (4.8%); New Hampshire (4.9%); Oklahoma (5.3%); Vermont (5.5%); Wyoming (5.9%); and Virginia, Iowa and Hawaii all at 6.0%. 07-25-2011. HRM Partners, Inc.