California Unemployment Hits 3rd Highest in U.S.

Schwarzenegger blames both Dems and Reps for "posturing"

Federal officials said Friday that California's unemployment rate climbed to 8.4 percent in November, the third highest rate in the nation.

The jobless rate announced Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor was up from 5.6 percent a year earlier, and 8.2 percent in October.

Only Michigan and Rhode Island posted higher jobless rates than California.

Michigan has been continuously slammed by the endless stream of car job losses that began more than 20 years ago. Rhode Island has less people in it than Los Angeles County.

The agency said California shed 41,700 jobs last month. Florida and North Carolina were the only states to lose more jobs.

The U.S. unemployment rate rose in November to 6.7 percent -- a 15-year high.

At University High School in Fresno on Friday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger mentioned the job loss and other economic ramifications of the budget stalemate.

“California’s unemployment rate reinforces the need for the state legislature to pass a real budget solution that includes aggressive economic stimulus – because we must do everything in our power to help Californians affected by the economic downturn get back to work,” said Schwarzenegger.

This week the state Pooled Money Investment Board voted to stop $3.8 billion in state infrastructure financing over the next six months because of the budget stalemate.

2,000 infrastructure projects valued at more than $16 billion are in jeopardy and tens of thousands of California jobs are immediately at risk, according to Schwarzenegger's office.

"Tens of thousands of hard-working Californians face the possibility of being laid off this holiday season while Democrats and Republicans continue to play politics," Schwarzenegger said. "The time for political posturing is over. It’s time for the state legislature to solve problems instead of creating them.” 

Yesterday Governor Schwarzenegger declared he would veto the budget bills sent to him by the legislature because he said they fail to provide real solutions for California’s budget crisis.

Some State Employees to Get Unpaid Furloughs

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office told labor unions Friday that it will order two-day-a-month unpaid furloughs for some state employees.

The unpaid furloughs, which will begin in February, are an attempt to save cash during the budget crisis.

Executive director of the Professional Engineers in California Government Bruce Blanning told the Sacramento Bee that he learned of the executive order Friday morning during a call from Department of Personnel Administration officials.

Blanning told the newspaper that the furloughs would apply to all general fund and special fund employees.

"We're in a time when we're trying to get federal money to build infrastructure and create jobs," Blanning told the Bee. "Telling people to stay home two days a month does not seem to be a productive way to do that."

On Thursday, Schwarzenegger declared he would veto budget bills sent to him by the Legislature because they failed to provide "real solutions for California's budget crisis and also (failed) to provide economic stimulus and mortgage relief for California."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us