Unemployment rate goes up to 10 percent
The two separate surveys for the report also found that non-farm payroll jobs in California declined by 41,700 during the month.
By most estimates, things are going to get worse before they get better.
Wayne Bienkowski, veteran’s workforce specialist for the Lassen, Plumas, and Sierra County EDD said the unemployment rate will cross the 10 percent mark in Lassen before the close of the year.
But many California counties have already surpassed that mark, including Modoc, at 11.2 percent and both Sierra and Plumas at 11.3 percent.
The highest unemployment rate in the state is in Imperial County, 23.4 percent, and the lowest in Marin County, 5 percent.
Bienkowski said he has been taking 50 to 70 calls a day at his temporary office in Quincy from people inquiring about unemployment.
He said it is normal to see an influx of unemployment applicants in the winter months, when companies are more likely to do layoffs, but this year has been particularly busy.
Bienkowski said part of the problem is staffing.
“When I first started, about seven years ago, there were 40 employees covering the four counties of Modoc, Plumas, Sierra, and Lassen, but now, it is basically me covering them all,” he said.
According to a receptionist at Lassen Career Network, twice as many unemployment applications have been passed out in the past two months as in previous months.
“I was hoping things would get better in the spring or summer, but with what has been going on with the state budget and what the governor has been talking about lately, things are looking pretty bleak,” said Bienkowski, referring to the unsettled issue of the California state budget and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recent statement promising to veto the Democratic package that passed the legislature on Dec. 18.
The U.S. unemployment rate also increased in November, to 6.7 percent, up by 2 percentage points.
In November 2007, the state unemployment rate was 5.7 percent.
The EDD report also stated the nation lost 533,000 jobs in November, its largest monthly job loss in nearly 34 years.
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