Friday, August 21, 2009

Unemployment Friday

The July 2009 report shows the CA unemployment rate at 11.9% and total non-farm jobs are now down 950,000 from its peak exactly 2 years ago in July 2007. Our forecast is that we have about another 1/2 % point increase in unemployment and about 70,000 more lost jobs to go before bottoming out.

Although terrible by any normal standard, this report followed the national report for August in showing a significant decline in the level of employment declines consistent with a bottom in the fall. That is good news, because the 2nd quarter employment reports for California remained stubbornly high while the U.S. reports showed gradual improvement.

One thing that makes it hard to conclude too much from this report is the seasonal decline in education employment. As we enter the last stage of the recession, we anticipate losses in public schools and local government will be among the more significant changes here. However, July and August data is always very noisy in these sectors and it will be 2 months before we can get a real read on the net impacts.

Total farm jobs in the Valley continue to show a normal seasonal pattern and be up slightly from a year ago.

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