The Housing Chronicles Blog: Recession deepens; California unemployment rate exceeds 10%

Friday, February 27, 2009

Recession deepens; California unemployment rate exceeds 10%

The U.S. economy fell into a much deeper recession than forecast during the fourth quarter of 2008. Much of this pain was felt in California, with its unemployment rate jumping to 10.1%.

First, from an L.A. Times article on the national economy:

Reporting from Washington -- The depths of the recession became much clearer this morning as the government announced that the economy shrank at a dramatic pace of 6.2% in the final three months of last year, the country's worst economic performance since 1982.

The Commerce Department sharply revised its earlier estimate of a 3.8% contraction in the fourth quarter for gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced by the economy. That initial figure was more optimistic than the 5% to 6% drop that most economists had predicted...

The only major sector to show an increase in spending was the federal government. It's spending was up 6.7%, highlighting the key role U.S. officials are playing in trying to keep the economy afloat, Gault said.

Next, from another L.A. Times article on California unemployment levels:

Reporting from Sacramento -- More than 1 in 10 California workers were unemployed in January, the largest percentage in nearly 26 years, the state reported today.

The 10.1% jobless rate is the highest since June 1983 and not far below the 11% record set in November 1982 at the worst point of a severe recession, according to the governor's office. Job losses escalated in January, with the state's unemployment rate jumping by 1.4 percentage points from a revised 8.7% for December...

Both numbers underscore that the U.S. and California economies are locked up because of a wrenching drop in demand for goods and services from businesses and consumers alike, economists said...

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