Bay Area bracing for more job losses

February 27, 2009 6:10:17 PM PST
New jobless figures are out for California, and for the first time in a quarter century, the unemployment rate is in "double digits ? 10.1 percent. That's up from less than six percent just more than a year ago, and it's the highest rate since June of 1983.

SIGN-UP: Get breaking news sent to you

After 19 years of steady work, construction project manager Randy McCune never thought he'd be laid off.

However, it happened two months ago. That makes him part of California's 10.1 percent unemployed.

"It really goes along with the work load, and the work load is just not there right now," said McCune.

He joins 1.8 million jobless Californians. That number grew by a quarter-million in the past month, and by three-quarters of a million in the past year.

Construction and retail are two of the hardest hit sectors.

We found McCune on Craigslist where he posted his resume. A father of two, he's starting to broaden his search to Sacramento and Oregon.

"The last time I was looking for work, I think I had posted my resume for less than a week, and I had a job. I'm going on two months now, so that's quite a while for me," said McCune.

Success can be the result of a new strategy. Chemical engineer Terry Childers is a prime example. He was laid off a year ago, and he landed a new job two weeks ago at the same pay.

Childers credits networking at LinkedIn, a website that encourages people to network and learn about job openings. He had a contact at the company where he wanted to work.

"I looked in LinkedIn, and I saw that I know someone who works in the group. So I sent an email to her, sent her my resume, and within an hour, she replied back to me, you have to change this and this and this," said Childers.

While Childers represents a success story, labor experts worry that the jobless numbers don't reflect the total picture.

"We have underemployed people. We have discouraged workers who have given up looking for work. If you add all that up together, the number is considerably higher than even the double digits recorded," said UC Berkeley labor expert Professor Harley Shaiken.

The possible loss of government jobs could push the state's unemployment even higher. The governor has talked about 10,000 layoffs.

       Today's latest headlines | ABC7 News on your phone
Follow us on Twitter | Fan us on Facebook | Get our free widget