Coca-cola used to refer to drinking their beverage as “The pause that refreshes.”
Dr. Nancy Sidhu, Chief Economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, says economic numbers for July indicate a “pause”, and it’s hardly refreshing.
“The recovery paused to take a break. I’m not sure what August will bring. Certainly (in) August there’s been a lot of fireworks in the financial markets and that suggests that there could be another pause,” Sidhu said.
The LACED reports unemployment rate “upticks” from June to July. In the case of California, the June unemployment rate rose from 11.8 percent to 12.0 percent. The Los Angeles County jobless rate climbed from 12.0 percent to 12.4 percent.
The good news, which Sidhu admits is not all that good — but better, is that compared to July 2010 the numbers have improved.
The California jobless rate has dropped from 12.4 percent to 12.0 percent and Los Angeles County unemployment has dropped from 12.7 percent to 12.4 percent.
“So, there’s progress there, but it’s very slow. And indeed that’s the pattern that we’ve been seeing for much of this year, slow progress, but some progress. And only if you step back and look at a distance,” Sidhu said.
California’s unemployment rate of 12.0 percent makes it the second highest rate in the nation. Nevada has the dubious distinction of having the highest unemployment rate of 12.9 percent.
“If we want to worry, as someone said recently, look east. There are worse problems than here.” said Sidhu.
Nationally the jobless rate is 9.1 percent.
Despite the pause, Sidhu says she’s not ready to make changes in the LACED forecast of modest gains in employment for this year and better next year.