Wednesday, August 20, 2014

California employment participation rate lowest since records began in 1976.



It is super nice to know that according to the Fed the labor force is closer to what they consider "normal". Which is kinda confusing because California just released it's budget with the above gem. Here.

California simultaneously says they have recovered all the jobs lost from the recession, but goes on to say the participation rate is the lowest since they began keeping records in 1976. I really don't understand how both of these things can be true.

"California's unemployment rate remained steady at 7.4 percent in July. This narrowed the gap with the U.S. to 1.2 percentage points, as the national unemployment rate rose by 0.1 percent to 6.2 percent. However, California's labor force participation rate, at 61.9 percent, is now the lowest it has ever been since records began in 1976. This is in contrast with the U.S. rate, which rose slightly to 62.9 percent in July."

It's also notable that tax receipts are down 11% for California this year. No Facebook to save them I guess. Maybe they could retroactively tax some more people.

Since we are now growing at 4% I thought it would be interesting to see how much progress California was making at paying the Feds back for the unemployment trust fund loans. We now owe more than half of the outstanding balance. What was even more interesting though was Arizona and Wisconsin. They started borrowing again in July. That totally sounds like a 4% growth economy.

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