Thursday, March 5, 2009

Kern Jobless rate hits 13.8 percent (ouch!)

This one hurts. Kern County's unemployment rate hit 13.8 percent in January. That's up from 11.8 percent in December, and it's a full four percentage points above what it was last year this time, at 9.8 percent. Now it's true that our "seasonal" unemployment rate hovers around 9 percent because of migratory labor, but 13.8 percent is a staggering number no matter how you view it. By comparison: the jobless rate in California is 10.6 percent and 8.5 percent nationally. Anecdotally, saw my friend Jeff Simpson today - he's the owner of Sequoia Sandwich shop - and he told me that for every opening for a server, he is being inundated with resumes from people with college degrees and others used to making $20 or $25 an hour. Rough out there.

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