If you live in California and are looking for a job, it could be a long search. The latest UCLA Anderson Forecast projects double-digit unemployment in the state through 2012.
The national unemployment rate for November declined slightly to 10 percent but the UCLA forecasters predict California's jobless rate will reach a high of 12.7 percent in the current quarter.
The problem, according to the report, is there is nothing in California's economy at the moment that can drive job creation. Manufacturing and construction, two of the major industries in the state, have drastically reduced payrolls and the report says that trend will likely continue into the next decade.
Even if the U.S. economy begins to recover next year, California may not participate as much because, the number of people looking for jobs is likely to grow at a faster pace than jobs are created.
"The stalled California economy is simply not producing the jobs required for the new entrants to the labor force over the next couple of years to prevent these elevated levels of unemployment to persist once the job lay-offs cease," the report said.
Part of California's economic problem stems from the major cause of the recession -- the collapse of the housing market. Perhaps nowhere was the market more lucrative than California, and nowhere did it crash with such force as the Golden State.
While the market appears to be stabilizing, the forecasters aren't calling for a recovery any time soon. In fact, they says the housing collapse, credit crunch and bank failures are all particularly pronounced in California and their combined effect is creating a severe drag on job creation.
And don't look for a lot of help from the public sector, either. California's budget problems are well-documented and state officials have few ways to easing them, other than shrinking payrolls and cutting back on large projects.
In one bright note, the forecasters said the weaker U.S. dollar could provide an increase in overseas demand for California agricultural and manufactured products, which could boost the state's substantial export economy. Also, additional stimulus money from the federal government could provide additional construction jobs, if the money was provided.