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Friday, April 17, 2009

That's Just the Sound of the Employment Rate Whizzing Past Your Ears

Posted By on Fri, Apr 17, 2009 at 11:00 AM

click to enlarge oliver.jpg
The California Employment Development Department released their latest statistics pertaining to unemployment and industry today, and guess what? They are not awesome. California hit a record high of 11.2 percent unemployment in March, which is nearly five points higher than March of last year. San Francisco County's unemployment rate, at 9.0, was higher than both Marin County and San Mateo County.

San Francisco, San Mateo, and Redwood City are lumped together in the report as a metropolitan area. The unemployment rate for the area this month was 8.5 percent. Just between the months of February 2009 and March 2009, the total number of jobs in the counties of Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo decreased by 2,900. For the past 19 years, construction jobs have grown by 500 jobs at this time of year. This year, it decreased by 500.

Professional businesses and services saw a net decline of 500 jobs, which was slightly offset by the fact that business are scrambling to pinch pennies during tax season and hired seasonal workers in legal, accounting, book-keeping, and tax preparation services. This is why my father always encouraged me to go into accounting. Joke's on you dad, I went to work for a newspaper! I'm going to need to borrow some money this month.

The numbers just get higher and bleaker:

Between March 2008 and March 2009, 36,700 jobs were lost (that's a  3.7 percent decline).
Most were lost in trade, utilities and transportation with retail close behind. Construction shrunk by 7,100  jobs and professional and business services by 4,700. Leisure and hospitality? Um, yeah, they lost jobs, too.

But, the report chirps, "on the upside" private schools and health services posted a net gain of 1,300 jobs! So if you are the kind of person who can afford private school for the kids, well, carry on!

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Andy Wright


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