Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sacramento Unemployment Hits Double Digits

The metro unemployment numbers are out today, which include significant revisions to the 2008 data. Unfortunately, all the revisions are down (as expected).

Nowhere are the changes more apparant than in the Sacramento Area. Unemployment in this region has gone over 10% for the first time in EDD metro records that go back to 1990. The area has lost 35,200 jobs (4%) in the last 12 months. Construction losses were bad in 2008 (and were revised down further to a devastating 8,000+ job loss in a single year, and down about 23,000 over the past 3 years. Other areas with huge losses include retail and leisure. This region includes Lake Tahoe ski resorts, and the recreation category (which includes ski resorts) is down about 2,000 jobs compared to last January (15,000 to 13,000). Despite the headlines, state government has been a relative bright spot - although these workers have seen lost wages through furloughs - and their depressed spending has contributed to other areas.

Valley metros to the south (Stockton and Modesto) have higher unemployment rates at 15% and 16% respectively. However, these levels are not record breakers as both regions saw higher winter unemployment rates through much of the 1990s. Not much consolation, as the Stockton and Modesto areas thought they had put those days behind them.

Tomorrow, we will probably learn that the U.S. lost another 600,000+ jobs in February which will translate into even more pain in next month's local reports.

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