The Christmas season is usually a good time to find work — at least temporarily. There's always a mall somewhere that needs folks to sell the latest cell phone carrying case. So it's not good news that the December unemployment rate for San Joaquin County jumped to 9.7 percent.
Nope, not a misprint. That's nearly 1 in 10 employable persons in San Joaquin without a job. If the country's headed toward a recession, our little slice of California seems to be the vanguard.
Consider the foreclosure fiasco (Stockton, the Foreclosure Capital of the Union, led the charge). Consider the collapse of industries linked to housing (figures reported in another local paper show nearly 2,400 county jobs disappeared in construction and real-estate related fields in 2007). Consider the record number of families seeking help from charities this winter (you remember the line for Brighter Christmas, don't you?).
Times are indeed getting tough. They're going to get tougher. And no rebate or insta-tax cut from the government is going to fix it.