Ueven Progress: What the Economic Recovery Has Meant for California’s Workers

California’s job market is experiencing a sustained increase in employment as the state continues to emerge from the Great Recession. However, even with unemployment falling, California’s job market recovery has not reached large  segments of California’s workers. After more than three years of job growth, the pace of the recovery has been on par with that  of previous recoveries in the state,  which is bad news for California’s workers given the historic severity of job losses during  the Great Recession.  A majority of California counties still have unemployment rates in the double digits, and long-term unemployment remains a serious concern: More than two in fi ve unemployed Californians have been searching for work for at  least six months. And for those who do have work, this recovery has not yet produced the mix of jobs that would lead  to  broad-based economic growth. California’s recovery has disproportionately relied on low-wage service industries  for job growth, and jobs generally have not returned in occupations that tend to pay wages in the middle of the earnings distribution.  These weaknesses in the current recovery mean that challenges facing California even before the recession began, such as  wage stagnation and widening inequality, continue today.

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