Not everyone receiving unemployment benefits has necessarily lost their job for good. Just how many waiters, bartenders and other furloughed or temporarily reduced personnel get back to work in the coming months will be crucial for a recovery that economists already expect to last into 2023.
So far, California has lagged other states in lowering its unemployment rate. June’s already jarring 14.9% jobless rate could keep climbing this summer after another wave of business closures in dozens of counties as the state continues to break grim records for virus deaths and infections. It’s a drastic shift from the state’s 3.9% unemployment in February, just before the shutdowns began.
While sectors including the tech industry have so far avoided the depth of job cuts in fields like tourism and hospitality, an uneven recovery could further entrench the inequality that has increasingly come to define both good and bad times in California.