1 in 10 Jobless in California

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2009 10:43 AM CST
1 in 10 Jobless in California
A farmer points to a water well and pump that he installed last summer to aid in delivering water to his trees, Jan. 23, 2009 in Mendota, Calif.   (AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian)

California’s jobless rate soared to 10.1% in January, the highest in more than 26 years, the Los Angeles Times reports. Some 1,863,000 are unemployed in the state after 79,300 lost their jobs last month. On top of the usual culprits such as manufacturing and retail, a slump in the film business also is taking a toll. Meanwhile, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a statewide drought emergency.

The move—prompted by 3 years of below-average rain—requires water agencies to reduce use by 20%, the AP notes. Mandatory rationing could take place if things don't improve. The drought is “a crisis, just as severe as an earthquake or raging wildfire,” Schwarzenegger said. Agriculture losses could reach $2.8 billion this year and lead to another 95,000 job cuts.
(More California stories.)

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