As the President travels to California, the Council of Economic Advisors has compiled some facts that illustrate the impact of the economic crisis on workers and their families in California.
· California’s unemployment rate was 10.1% in January (most recent data available). This is a 4.2 percentage point increase since December 2007 and the fourth highest unemployment rate in the country.
· The state has lost 169,000 (or about 1 in 5) of its construction jobs since December 2007. Although construction was hardest hit, there was also notable job loss in retail sales.
· California’s housing prices have declined 27.4% from their peak in 2006, the highest in the nation. Housing prices have declined 20% in the past year.
· California ranks third highest in mortgages that are seriously delinquent. Only Nevada and Florida have more mortgages 90 days overdue or in the process of foreclosure.
· The Los Angeles metropolitan area had an unemployment rate of 10.5% in January, its highest level since 1983. Orange County, which includes Costa Mesa, has been less affected. Nevertheless, Orange County’s unemployment rate jumped from 4.3% (December 2007) to 6.5% (December 2008).
Labor Market Details
· California lost 541,200 jobs (seasonally adjusted) between December 2007 and January 2009. This is a 3.6% decline, exceeding the national decline of 2.7%.
· ARRA is forecasted to save or create over 396,000 jobs for Californians.
· The Los Angeles metropolitan division alone, which includes Long Beach and Glendale, lost 149,300 jobs (seasonally adjusted). This is a 3.6% decline in employment.
· Construction was hit particularly hard in California. The state lost 1 in 5 of its construction jobs.
· Retail trade lost over 12% of its jobs statewide and 11% in Los Angeles, compared with 8% nationwide.
· The FHFA house price index for California has fallen 20.5% over the past year compared with a 4.5% rate of decline nationally. This is second only to Nevada. Prices have fallen from their 2006 peak by over 27%, the largest such decline in the nation.
· Foreclosures in California exceed the national average. The state ranks 3rd highest for mortgages that are seriously delinquent. Only Nevada and Florida are worse.
· Among the state’s non-elderly population, 20.4% lack health insurance according to 2006-2007 data. This is the 9th worst percentage in the country. California also fails to insure 1 in 8 of its children, which places it 17th worst in that category.
(Source: White House)