Friday, 19 December 2008

Unemployment Friday

The latest numbers from EDD are out today. They are predictably dismal.

Seasonally adjusted non-farm payrolls decline 42,000 statewide in one month, led by a much smaller than usual holiday, retail hiring surge. Losses are also seen further back up the supply chain, and that hurts places like Stockton, a metro area that is seeing recent good news in the transportation sector evaporate quickly in a broader recession.

In the Bay Area, Silicon Valley is starting to slide, job losses are hitting in computer manufacturing and related tech fields. This is the beginning of a trend we see continuing through 2009. San Jose dodged the worst of the housing recession, but the 2nd half of the recession will definitely be felt.

The Sacramento area posts another weak report. Like everywhere, retail is weaker than expected, construction continues to decline, as is leisure/hospitality. This metro includes Lake Tahoe, and we should be seeing seasonal growth in hospitality. This is the number to watch for next months, December report. Sacramento also posted a big decline in professional and business services, with a significant part of the decline showing up in the higher end professional fields, rather than declines in clerical/temp type positions. If this becomes a trend, that is bad news. Of course, everyone is watching the state budget standoff. We have not seen large scale govt job losses yet, and may not see them if furloughs (temporary pay cuts) are widespread. Thus, the job losses may be limited but the income effects and agency budget cuts will have significant ripple effects through the capital region’s private sector.

Still looking for good news in these reports, but haven’t found any yet (unless, not being any worse than we expected counts as good news these days).

About the Author

Ethan Jacob

Author & Editor

I am Ethan Jacob Executive Director of the Center for Business and Policy Research at the University of the Pacific, where I have a joint faculty appointment in the Eberhardt School of Business and the Public Policy Program in the McGeorge School of Law..


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