Friday, January 18, 2013

California December 2012 Unemployment Rate Compared to 49 Other States

California's December 2012 unemployment rate remained flat compared to November 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  California's unemployment rate dropped 1.4% from the 11.2% rate one year ago. California's unemployment rate is 3rd highest in the nation, ahead of only Rhode Island and Nevada.  Nevada's economy is closely coupled with California's.  However, Nevada's December unemployment rate improved by 0.6% compared to November's rate, tying Rhode Island.

The EMRATIO shows that there continues to be lower-than-usual participation in the labor market nationally.  Compare the duration of the current low ratio against the deeper but shorter dip during the early 1980s.  Remember also that the current situation stubbornly persists even after a whopping $878 BILLION federal stimulus program and significant quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve.

The UEMPMEAN data shows the average duration that a worker is unemployed--currently around 38 weeks!  Again, notice the stark difference to the recession in the early 1980s.

The UEMPMED data shows the median duration of unemployment.  Half the workers have shorter unemployment, half the workers have longer unemployment.  Note the difference between the average (mean) duration above and the median duration, shown below.  Half the workers are finding jobs in about 18 weeks.  However, the large average indicates that the other half require significantly longer to find a new job.

The wide spread between the average duration and the median duration (UEMPMEAN-UEMPMED) indicates that there are a large number of unemployed workers that still have not found jobs.  There could be possible effects of the federal government providing up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits.  Again,  the difference between the 1980's recession and the most-recent recession is interesting.

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