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California’s Economic Health Improving, Recession Receding, New Report Says

Aired 11/6/12 on KPBS News.

A recently-released report measuring the economic security of the nation's households finds the recession is beginning to loosen its grip.

— A recently-released report measuring the economic security of the nation's households finds the recession is beginning to loosen its grip.

Design for Health

California's improvement on the Economic Insecurity Index was better than the national average, but the recession's impact is still being felt.

The Rockefeller Foundation and Yale professor Jacob Hacker found just over 20 percent of California's households experienced major economic losses in 2011. That's a decline of 1.4 percent, and it is a tenth of a percent better than the national decline.

The economic security index is updated once a year and looks at changes in household income.

"We define a big drop as a 25 percent or greater drop from one year to the next," said Hacker. "So this is people who experience either a very large loss in income, or a very big increase in their medical spending or the amount they spend to deal with their financial debt."

The recession is still squeezing the financial health of one in five California households, according to the study.

Nationally 26 states had declines, 18 states had no significant change and four states saw increases. Hawaii and Alaska are not included in the report.

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