Nevada has the highest unemployment of the states, with California running second in this dubious distinction. But according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, California has nine of the 10 U.S. metropolitan areas with the highest jobless rates.
El Centro (east of San Diego) reported 27.7% unemployment. The eight other areas with unemployment at 15% or higher were in Fresno, Modesto and other rural and Central Valley California communities.
In metropolitan areas with a population of 1 million or more, Riverside-San Bernardino had the highest unemployment in May at 13.2%. The U.S. government lumps in with Los Angeles and Orange County as a single large metropolitan area. With that combination, the Los Angeles and Orange county area ranked the seventh largest unemployment in the country with an unemployment rate of 11.1% in May. However, the combined measure masks higher unemployment in Los Angeles County.
Lowest in the county is the greater Washington, D.C. area, at 5.7%. At least all that federal economic stimulus is helping someone.
Nevada has employment challenges because of a prior boom in the gaming industry, a related difficulty that this same industry is now having. California has no such excuse. California’s issues are meaningfully caused by high taxes and governmental policies that discourage employers from locating in California. Here is more from CEOs on why this is happening.