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California jobs numbers put economists in a good mood

November 19, 2010 | 11:17 am

California employers added 39,000 jobs in October and economists across the state are grinning for the first time in what feels like years. Sure, there are still 2.6 million people out of work in the state, but after two years of losses and only minor gains, this is good news.

If you're in the need of a pick-me-up, here are some of their rosy prognostications:

  • "This is one month only in the midst of the state’s long and deep recession, but it is a very good one month." -- Stephen Levy, director of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy
  • “This is, relatively speaking, the best news we’ve gotten this the year. We have bottomed out, and we are creating jobs." -- Esmael Adibi, economist, Chapman University
  • "The new governor may have some wind behind his back with these numbers." -- Michael S. Bernick, former director of the Employment Development Department
  • "There are glimmers in the job breakdowns." -- Jerry Nickelsburg, economist, UCLA Anderson forecast

What are they so happy about? Professional and business services, which includes high-paying attorney and accounting, added 14,800 jobs. Manufacturing added 7,100. Even construction gained 2,500, thanks in part to stimulus spending on roads and government buildings.

Even Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, on his way out of office, weighed in on the good news.

"California continues to experience a slow recovery, but I am proud that we passed a budget that held the line on tax increases and pleased that the California voters upheld vital employment incentives on the November ballot," he said. "These actions will help the private sector expand and hire, which will increase revenue and bolster California’s economy."

-- Alana Semuels