Thursday, April 2, 2009

Latest Forecast Released

See the press release for more details.

The headline number is the unemployment rate which we forecast will peak at 12.1% statewide. Underlying that estimate is our belief that the labor force will stop growing as discouraged folks leave the workforce, go back to school, etc. That's typical in recessions, but we haven't seen it yet in the data. There hasn't been much typical in this recession, so if labor force growth stays up, unemployment rates could hit 13%+ even if employment losses are as we project.

For the record, back in early December we projected the peak in the high 9% range, and UCLA was predicting an unemployment peak in the high 8% range. Obviously, we were both very wrong.

This time, our projections are very close. They are at 11.9% and we are 12.1%. Not too much difference. We are projecting a slightly faster recover, but overall the view isn't much different. A much more pessimistic forecast is out of UCSB. The forecast group at UC Santa Barbara is projecting 14.7%!

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