Top 12 MSA Unemployment Regions Are Located in California.
The Only 2 MSA Regions with 20 Percent Unemployment, Exist in California.
Statistics have a way of being cold and unsympathetic to the plight of the numbers they represent. That is why when we hear that our national unemployment rate is 8.9 percent, there is little cause for alarm from the headline. Yet when we parse the data we realize that 25,000,000 Americans are unemployed or underemployed with half a million more coming our way this Friday. The employment situation on an aggregate basis simply does not reflect the devastation of this current recession. A recession that can destroy $11.2 trillion in American household wealth is not a common recession.
It is the case that there are many MSA (metropolitan statistical areas) measured by the BLS that show some regions of our country are already in a deep and profound depression. Out of the top 20 MSAs with high unemployment rates we find that 12 are in California.
Now why does this matter? First, there is a misconception with California. What is portrayed on the media is this all powerful and extremely wealthy state (well, maybe before there budget flew off a cliff at least). Yet the reality is more akin to a banana republic run by a small ruling elite.
The next two groups are those struggling to remain in the middle class while the other half of the state barely makes ends meet. That is why we find that 12 of the 20 top unemployment rates come from California.
California now has the highest unemployment rate since World War II coming in at 11 percent. Yet as you can see from the charts, many areas are already seeing depression level unemployment. Let us take a look at a few samples:
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