On this Labor Day weekend, many Californians find themselves more in need of work than a holiday.
A report released Sunday says two of five working-age Californians do not have a job, underscoring the challenges in one of the toughest job markets in decades. A new study has found that the last time employment levels among this group were this low was February 1977.
The study was done by the California Budget Project, a Sacramento-based nonprofit research group that advocates for lower- and middle-income families. The report said that California now has about the same number of jobs as it did nine years ago, when the state was home to 3.3 million fewer working-age people.
California Budget Project executive director Jean Ross recommended Congress adopt a second extension of unemployment insurance benefits. Those checks pay between $200 and $1,800 a month depending on a worker's previous earnings.
On Friday, the U.S. Labor Department reported that the nation's jobless rate had climbed to 9.7 percent, the highest since 1983.