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Fairlie Discusses Economic Impact of High Unemployment in California

Robert Fairlie, a professor of economics and public policy, recently discussed the long-term implications should the state’s job growth continue to lag behind the national average. Joblessness reduces overall earnings, said Fairlie, chair of UCLA Luskin Public Policy, and that lowers consumer demand and hinders investment. “There is a negative multiplier effect on the state economy from the higher unemployment rates we are seeing,” he said. The story in the New York Times, which was picked up by other news outlets, focuses on the impacts of California’s high unemployment rate — 5.1% in January, which exceeded the national rate of 3.7% and was behind only Nevada’s rate of 5.4%. Among the contributing factors explored in the story are layoffs in the technology sector, a slow rebound in Southern California from prolonged strikes in the entertainment industry and varying demand for agricultural workers.


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