Written by Gabriel Dillard
Today, the state Employment Development Department came out with unemployment numbers for February that read like a dispatch from another world.
It may be several months until we get the unemployment numbers for March for the full extent of the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Gavin Newsom has said more than a million Californians have filed for unemployment insurance. A record 3.3 million Americans applied last week, according to the Labor Department.
February will be one of the baselines used to determine just how deep the economic troubles reach. It can also be a marker to gauge just how easily the economy can bounce back. So here’s a look at the last normal unemployment report for a while:
— 8.5% unemployment rate for February, compared to 8.1% in January and 8.9% a year ago
— Educational and health services reported the largest year-over increase with 3,000 new jobs
— Professional and business services gained 2,100 annually
— Manufacturing advanced payrolls by 1,000 jobs
— 9.8% unemployment rate last month, up from 9.4% in January and below 9.9% a year ago
— Manufacturing gained 200 positions annually
— Professional and business services lost 100 jobs annually
— 8.1% unemployment for February, unchanged from January and below 8.2% a year ago
— Leisure and hospitality gained 500 jobs over the last year
— 11.5% unemployment for February, up form 11% in January and the same as a year ago
— Professional and business services took a major hit with a loss of 1,300 jobs year-over-year
— Educational and health services helped offset those losses, gaining 1,400 over the year