California – Sorry, No Jobs

If you’re looking for work, don’t look in California.

Employers in California are expected to keep cutting staff in 2010 as the wider U.S. jobs market recovers. As industries in other U.S. states prepare to rehire on signs of recovery, firms in California are still waiting for their economy to rebound.

California has lost 732,700 jobs over the last year. The state has 12.2 percent unemployment. In the 12 months through August, California’s construction industry shed 142,000 jobs, or 18.5 percent of its work force. Those workers are struggling to find new jobs in construction or other trades, according to analysts.

House prices soared higher in California than in most other U.S. states earlier this decade and have crashed harder amid the credit crunch. Developers are trying to unload unsold new homes and real estate agents are relying on selling foreclosures for a large share of business.

Tight credit and steep job losses have slimmed ranks of prospective home buyers, with many waiting for prices to drop further. At the same time, a number of other states are beginning to see home prices stabilize.

Tumbling personal, corporate and property tax revenues have put the brakes on government hiring as manufacturers wait for consumer spending to pick up before adding jobs.

Analysts expect California‘s jobless rate to climb well into next year.

“[Manufacturers] are trying to survive with as few workers as possible,” Raymond Sfeir said. “They’re not going to commit until they’re more certain.”

Small- to medium-sized companies need more than economic cues to boost payrolls, Jack Kyser said: “They’re having trouble accessing bank lending and are concerned about health-care reform and about environmental regulations out of Sacramento.”

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