California’s unemployment rate is rotten and holding steady.
In March, according to the Los Angeles Times, the rate was 8.1%. In February, it was exactly the same. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the state only added 11,800 net new jobs in March, many of them in construction, government, education, and health services. The greatest gains were in professional and business services, with 3,100 new positions.
But the jobs numbers in hospitality, manufacturing, and leisure dipped, and the biggest drop came in financial activities, as the slowing rate of mortgages forced banks to fire employees. The field of finance lost 2,400 jobs.
While California remained miserable, unemployment rates in 17 other states rose. The western United States has been hardest hit by joblessness, with its rate at 7.2%, while the South holds at 6%, the lowest in the nation.
There were only 192,000 net new jobs in the U.S. last month. California only gleaned about 6% of them.