by Charles Lemos, Thu Mar 04, 2010 at 04:22:59 PM EST
In the nation's two most populous states, three new reports point to a continuing weakness in the labor market. In the Lone Star State, The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is expected to release its monthly jobs report for January that will revise upwards the jobs losses. Indeed, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas recently released its own benchmark report which found that Texas had lost a total of 329,000 payroll jobs in 2009 or 53,000 more than 276,000 reported by the Commerce Department.
Much of the weakness in the Texas job picture is in the Dallas MSA, the state's second largest. The Dallas area lost nearly 83,000 jobs between December 2008 and December 2009, according to the Dallas Fed. That's nearly double the 42,000 or so local job losses the TWC estimated in January for the same period.
Overall, the Texas job market is performing better than the national one. Still, the state's unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent in December, up from 8 percent in November.
In nation's most populous state, the situation is even bleaker. The San Jose Mercury News reports that the California lost far more jobs last year than the state initially reported. According to an estimate from the state Employment Development Department, California employers shed 871,000 jobs in 2009. If that estimate holds up when final revisions are released this month, California's job losses would be far more grim than first believed. The agency reported as recently as Jan. 22 that California employers chopped 579,000 jobs from payrolls in 2009. In short, California lost 292,000 more jobs than first reported.
California's unemployment rate stood at 10.1 percent in January 2009 but climbed to over 12.1 percent over the course of the year. The latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the unemployment rate in the Golden State at 12.4 percent.