National jobless numbers put damper on recovery talk

150 150 Ed Coghlan

Unemployment line in California
Unemployed workers line up after a 2007 freeze in California (Photo credit: FEMA).

The first ever California Economic Summit was held three weeks ago, and the work on final recommendations continues. The Summit attendees continue to collaborate across the state to address some of the major initiatives that were discussed at the day long event in Santa Clara on May 11. Those topics include how to better prepare the state’s workforce, to encourage innovation and to promote the investment of more infrastructure to name a few.

The Summit has two over-arching goals: to improve job creation in California and to improve the state’s ability to compete in the global economy.

The economic news from around the world Friday would indicate that the timing of the Summit’s work is just about right. The national unemployment rate is 8.2 percent after only 69,000 new jobs were created in May.

The soft job numbers could mean anything, but, as Mark Lacter in LA Observed wrote, it might be foolish to rush to judgement only because many who have been proven wrong in the past. The world’s economy is actually doing worse. The Eurozone, which is the European countries that use the Euro for currency, the unemployment rate was 11 percent, which is much higher than the U.S. and a record for them.

Here in California, the actual May numbers won’t be out for a while, but the sense is that the state’s job creation is still sluggish, particularly in Southern California. The Summit taught us that the state’s economy is not one economy but a series of regional economies, and that job creation and economic recovery may happen sooner in some places than the other. But the Summit initiatives are designed to keep in mind regional differences and similarities and encourage them to thrive together in the future.

Speaking of regional economies, next week, we will be filing a video report about how the bio-tech industry has been able to blossom so well in San Diego County. Stay tuned. 


Ed Coghlan

All stories by: Ed Coghlan