California's Competitiveness, Employment Development Department, Unemployment Insurance

California’s Unemployment Rate Highest in the Nation as Job Losses Mount

California Flag

California’s unemployment rate is the highest in the nation at 5.3 percent, with businesses reporting 3,400 job losses in February. Additionally, the January figure was revised to reflect the loss of 32,500 more jobs than previously reported, the Legislative Analyst’s Office reported March 26.

“The state’s unemployment rate continued to climb and now stands at 5.3 percent,” the analyst stated. “With February’s increase, more than 1 million Californians are now unemployed. The ‘Sahm rule,’ a real-time recession indicator that first triggered a year ago, continues to signal an economic downturn.”

Nevada had the second-highest unemployment rate, at 5.2 percent, and Washington, D.C. reported 5.1 percent unemployment. The rate stands at 4.4 percent in New York, 4.2 percent in Oregon, 4.1 percent in Arizona, 3.9 percent in Texas, 3.3 percent in Tennessee, 2.9 percent in Massachusetts, and 2.4 percent in Maryland. North Dakota had the lowest rate in the United States, at 2 percent.