Expect the state rate to hover around 10.8 percent through the end of the year, according to the latest UCLA forecast (it was 10.9 percent in February). In 2013, it will average 9.8 percent, and in 2014 the unemployment rate will be around 7.7 percent - still a half percent higher than what's projected for the nation as a whole. So why is California still lagging behind? UCLA economist Jerry Nickelsburg says that the employment situation is not as bad as the jobless rate would suggest because more folks have stayed in the labor force in search of jobs than is true on the national level.
Since the rate has fallen from 12.4% to 10.9% employment is clearly improving in the Golden State. Indeed, the pattern of labor force growth in California is similar to that in Nebraska, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia other states commonly thought to be doing well, and it is distinctly dissimilar to those in states thought to be doing poorly such as Michigan, Nevada, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
When the economy does pick up in next year and 2014, look for technology, exports, health care, professional scientific and business services and education to be the main drivers, according to the forecast. Here's the UCLA release.