The County Voice

Counties’ Unemployment Numbers Reach New Heights

While recent figures released by the State Controller’s Office show revenues are higher than projected, an alarming report on unemployment was released earlier this week. The numbers are startling:  The unemployment rate tops more than 20% in eight California counties. 

Take a look at some specific figures: Colusa, 27.4%; Imperial, 27.3%; Trinity, 25.8%. In other words, if you are walking down the street in Colusa, El Centro or Weaverville, about one in every four adults you pass is out of work. Or if you go to your child’s Little League game and there are 100 adults in the stands, about 25 of them are looking for a job. 

Overall, California’s unemployment rate is 12.5% — the highest rate since the state started tracking these numbers in 1976. Nearly 2.4 million people out of work — 636,000 people in just Los Angeles County. There are only four cities in California with a population greater than that. 

While the experts say we are starting to see an economic turnaround, it’s going to take some time. These unemployment numbers are expected to remain high for the next few months. And that means the demand for California’s fraying safety net of county-run programs will continue to increase.   

To review a county-by-county breakdown of unemployment figures, click here.

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