More economic gloom: California jobless rate hits 16.3%

California’s unemployment rate continued to climb in May, reaching 16.3% as businesses struggle under a stay-at-home order meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus but that has ravaged the economy, according to data released Friday.

Posted: Jun 19, 2020 9:42 AM
Updated: Jun 19, 2020 7:20 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s unemployment rate continued to climb in May, reaching 16.3% as businesses struggle under a stay-at-home order meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus but that has ravaged the economy, according to data released Friday.

It’s the highest unemployment for the nation’s most populous state since the Great Depression more than 80 years ago. Nationally, 38 states saw their unemployment rates decline since April as officials begin loosening their stay-at-home orders and businesses began to open up again.

But the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found California’s rate increased from April when it was 15.5%. In the last year, the state has lost more than 2.2 million jobs — the largest decline in the country.

California has paid more than $30 billion in unemployment benefits since the start of the pandemic, according to the California Employment Development Department. The state has exhausted its account to pay these benefits, forcing it to borrow more than $2 billion from the federal government.

It’s a remarkable change for a state that, through February, was enjoying a 10-year economic expansion that saw the addition of more than 3.4 million jobs that accounted for 15% of the nation’s job growth. About two-thirds of those gains were wiped out in April as the state lost 2.3 million jobs and its unemployment rate hit double digits for the first time since the Great Recession a decade ago.

California, like most states, has relaxed its stay-at-home order to allow most businesses to open again, but with restrictions that in many cases limit how many customers they can serve. Most California counties now allow restaurants, retail stores, movie theaters, hotels, day camps and gyms to open.

But following a spike in new cases, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday ordered people to wear masks in most indoor settings and outdoors when physical distancing isn’t possible.

California has more than 167,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 5,300 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 526685

Reported Deaths: 9684
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1958054760
Riverside38487738
Orange38066653
San Bernardino34017477
San Diego30516568
Kern21228151
Fresno15759138
San Joaquin11958180
Alameda11909192
Santa Clara11030192
Sacramento10174148
Tulare9990193
Imperial9513232
Stanislaus9308135
Contra Costa8176131
Ventura787777
San Francisco698961
Santa Barbara652663
San Mateo5744120
Marin518076
Monterey496634
Merced458351
Kings445356
Solano380638
Sonoma311339
Madera211432
Placer195318
San Luis Obispo192616
Yolo161442
Santa Cruz11964
Butte10128
Napa9809
Sutter8406
San Benito6894
El Dorado6681
Lassen6320
Yuba5334
Shasta3979
Colusa3574
Mendocino3419
Glenn3321
Nevada3161
Tehama2461
Humboldt2454
Lake2111
Mono1451
Tuolumne1442
Amador1370
Calaveras1361
Del Norte900
Siskiyou880
Inyo641
Mariposa592
Plumas330
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 68°
Oroville
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 66°
Paradise
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 68°
Chester
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 55°
Red Bluff
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 71°
Willows
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 68°
It was a slightly cooler day for northern California today, but a more significant cooling is arriving tomorrow, along with a slight chance for showers and thunderstorms over the mountains of northwest California.
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