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Report finds 'deeply challenging' labor market in California



Unemployed Americans line up to enter a job fair in El Monte, Calif. Most California counties still face double digit unemployment, according to a new report by the California Budget Project, which finds more than two out of five unemployed Californians have been looking for a job for at least half a year.
Unemployed Americans line up to enter a job fair in El Monte, Calif. Most California counties still face double digit unemployment, according to a new report by the California Budget Project, which finds more than two out of five unemployed Californians have been looking for a job for at least half a year.
Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

A report by the California Budget Project says the addition of 750,00 jobs over the past three years has still left much of the state in double-digit unemployment.  

"California still has a job market in which too many workers can't obtain full-time jobs that pay a good wage," said Luke Reidenbach, policy analyst with the non-partisan CBP and the report's author. "California's emerging recovery is not providing the mix of jobs needed for a robust economic rebound that benefits the full range of workers and their families."

Among the group’s findings: The share of unemployed Californians who have been seeking work for six months or longer is down only slightly from a record high, and stands at 43 percent. The report also found men have fared better than women. During the past three years of overall job growth, employment among prime-working-age men – ages 25 to 54 – has increased, as it dropped slightly for women in the same age group.

Other numbers:

Significantly, the current recovery is relying more heavily on low-wage industries such as leisure and hospitality, and less on industries that generally pay more than the state's typical hourly wage, such as construction and government.

The California Budget Project argues reinvestment in education — from early childhood, to college — is critical to the state's near- and longer-term economic growth.