By SAMANTHA YOUNG, Associated Press Writer
Friday, January 23, 2009
California's unemployment rate jumped to 9.3 percent in December, capping a tumultuous year of massive job losses and a housing slump that has struck most of the country.
The jobless rate announced Friday by the state Employment Development Department represents a jump from the 8.4 percent figure in November 2008.
Excluding farmworkers, California lost 78,200 jobs in December as employers sliced payrolls to deal with the slowing economy.
California's unemployment rate hasn't been at this level since January 1994, when the state was coming out of its recession in the early part of that decade, said Stephen Levy, senior economist for the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy.
"California, like the nation, is in the midst of a terrible and deepening recession," Levy said. "We all expect the job losses to continue and unemployment rates to go higher."