California Unemployment Rate Approaches 25%

New data released Thursday show 4.7 million unemployment claims processed since March

California's unemployment rate may be nearly 25%, according to newly-released data from the state's labor office.

On Thursday, the Employment Development Department (EDD) said it had processed 4.7 million unemployment benefit claims since the week ending March 14. That would amount to about 24.4% of the state's civilian labor force of 19.2 million workers, using the most recent figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"For a sense of how large these numbers are, at the height of the last recession the EDD processed about 700,000 claims over a two-month period," the agency said in a news release.

Gov. Newsom's proposed new budget, also announced Thursday, accounts for an estimated state unemployment rate of about 25%.

Official unemployment rates are published monthly, after state analysts have had a chance to closely review all available data. The most recent estimate, published last month, showed a state unemployment rate of 5.3% just two months ago. The official rate for May is scheduled for release on June 19.

EDD said it had paid more than $12 billion in benefits to jobless workers since March.

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