OAKLAND, Calif. - With national unemployment currently at 4.2%, President Joe Biden says the U.S. economy is improving all the time.
In fact, many labor economists would say that at this rate, the nation is essentially in a state of full employment.
"We're looking at the sharpest one year decline in unemployment ever. Simply put, America, America is back to work," said President Biden.
But, California continues its nagging, lagging tussle with getting the workforce back to work.
"There's something going on," said labor lawyer Michael Bernick, a former EDD Director, who says California's unemployment rate is far higher than the national 4.2%.
"We were at 7.3%. That, with Nevada, was the highest rate in the nation," Bernick said.
Even as hiring has improved a bit, the Golden State still had the most layoffs.
"California has about 12% of the nation's civilian labor force. Yesterday, we had 22% of the nation's new unemployment claims," Bernick said on Saturday.
California has more than a million jobs available.
"Even with the wage increases, we are not getting the number; not able to fill the positions and that across sectors and across the state," Bernick said. "It reflects the severity of the lockdowns we had, compared to other states, and the continued restrictions and uncertainty."
In fact, the number of people working or looking for work remains below pre-pandemic rates.
"The number of people who are not either working or looking for work is higher in California than in other states and higher than the national rate," he said.