California has passed the million mark. In September, the state was down by 1,002,000 jobs from the start of the recession, according to the latest Employment Development Department data released today. The number of nonfarm jobs dropped by 39,300 between August and September – more than five times the number of jobs lost between July and August (7,200). Yet the drop in jobs in September is an improvement over the more than 60,000 jobs lost each month from March to June of this year.
California’s unemployment rate held steady in September, but not because workers stopped losing jobs. The state’s jobless rate was 12.2 percent in September, down slightly from the revised August rate of 12.3 percent. But this decline reflects the fact that more Californians have given up their job search and dropped out of the labor force. (As we’ve blogged in the past, the unemployment rate counts individuals as jobless only if they have actively searched for work in the last four weeks. This means that the unemployment rate can decline if jobless individuals stop looking for employment.)
Although many experts believe the Great Recession has run its course at the national level, they also believe we’re in store for the weakest recovery in the post-WWII era. That means it could be a long time before those one million jobs come back.
— Alissa Anderson