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California’s January Jobs Report is Mixed

Aired 3/9/12 on KPBS News.

California's unemployment rate has dropped below 11 percent for the first time since the recession began. But the state report out today has some extremely disappointing job numbers.

Some job reports bring a pretty clear headline. This one's a bit muddled. First of all, even though the new national numbers are for February, the state report is for January. And while unemployment dipped to 10.9 percent - down from 11.2 percent in December - California lost 5,200 jobs. That's compared to a nationwide gain in January of 284,000 jobs. Chapman University Economist Esmael Adibi said California has 12 percent of the US population, so it should have added 12 percent of the nation's jobs.

"We are not catching up with the national job growth - and in fact, we are way, way underperforming the nation as a whole," said Adibi.

But there's even a caveat here: The state revised December's job gain from about ten thousand to nearly forty thousand. We'll learn in a couple of weeks if January gets a similar revision.

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