With more than 1 in 10 workers unemployed in January,
the state registers its highest jobless rate since June 1983,
not far below the record of 11%
BY MARC LIFSHER
More than 1 in 10 California workers were unemployed in January, the largest percentage in nearly 26 years, the state reported today.
The 10.1% jobless rate is the highest since June 1983 and not far below the 11% record set in November 1982 at the worst point of a severe recession, according to the governor’s office.
Job losses escalated in January, with the state’s unemployment rate jumping by 1.4 percentage points from a revised 8.7% for December.
The grim California job numbers tracked closely with data released earlier in the day by the U.S. Commerce Department that showed that the national economy contracted by 6.2% in the last three months of 2008, the biggest slowdown in 26 years.
Both numbers underscore that the U.S. and California economies are locked up because of a wrenching drop in demand for goods and services from businesses and consumers alike, economists said.
Recovery will not be quick, cautioned Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: “The number of Californians without jobs and a means to provide for their families is a sobering reminder that there is nothing more important than getting California’s economy back on track.
“The road to full economic recovery will not be short,” he said, “but the economic stimulus measures I fought to include in the state budget, combined with the federal economic recovery agenda, will help California create jobs — while laying a strong foundation for better economic times ahead.”
See Related: ECONOMIC CRISIS
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