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Californias Unemployment Crisis According to statistics compiled by the US government and mined by BridgePath httpwwwbridgepathcom California has a far higher unemployment rate than most of the country see chart While areas like the Silicon Valley continue to flourish much of the nations most populous state still remains in recession In fact only four other states have a higher unemployment rate for 1997 than California two of them being Hawaii and Alaska -- states with traditionally high unemployment Californias 63 overall 1997 unemployment rate is almost a point and a half greater than the national rate of 49 That rate ranks California fifth worse in the country -- though it is an improvement over 1996 where the state was plagued with 72 unemployment The BridgePath analysis suggests that two Californias may exist Regions like Modesto 134 Fresno 125 Bakersfield 114 and Stockton 108 are experiencing double-digit unemployment like many European countries Even Los Angeles has 70 unemployment These alarming numbers are offset by regions like the San Francisco Bay Area the San Diego Area and Orange County -- which all have unemployment far below the national average San Jose for example has a 1997 unemployment rate of only 31 the lowest in the country This dichotomy has come about chiefly due to Californias changing economy Though much of the states economic progress relies on agriculture technology is quickly becoming the largest employer Regions like San Diego Orange County and the Bay Area all rely heavily on technology while cities like Bakersfield have been slow to adopt It is not surprising that all these new growth areas have grown up around world class universities that help spur innovation But Californias situation is not unique All around the nation two economies are springing up -- the educated and the non-educated workforce In todays economy even the lowest paying jobs require computer skills a high degree of education and training Though the split
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