California's unemployment rate ticked down for the second month in a row, now at 12.4%, but I'm not about to change the name of this monthly post.
The state's payroll report was very poor in the private sector. Take away the Census, and we have no change to private payrolls. It's really been about 6 months of moving sideways, there is no sustained positive momentum. I think that will finally change next month, and it better because the Census jobs are temporary and local government cuts will be hitting soon.
San Diego, Orange County, and San Jose are the three regions in the state that have firmly established a trend of positive job growth. San Francisco finally had a solid monthly report, after a disapointing start to the year, and should be poised to join San Jose in a more consistent recovery mode. The East Bay continues to lag in the Bay Area.
Unemployment rates are coming down in the Valley now that the agricultural season has ramped up, but remain depressingly high. Much like the overall statewide picture, the private, non-farm sectors remain very flat. Retail, construction and hospitality are not picking up as much as we normally see in May, similar to the weak holiday season.