Dan Walters

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
Published: Monday, Sep. 2, 2013 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

As California marks the Labor Day holiday, there’s a slow-motion debate over the strength of its recovery from the worst recession since the Great Depression and thus its prospects for improving employment.

There’s no question that the state has rebounded somewhat, having seen several percentage points knocked off an unemployment rate that peaked over 12 percent and was among the nation’s highest.

Gov. Jerry Brown has been touting the recovery, telling The New York Times recently, “Some people were ridiculing California, and some were calling it a failed state. The unemployment came down from 12.2 (percent) to 8.5 (percent). Real estate is rebounding. There’s a lot of confidence out there. That’s what happened.”

Last week, Brown’s Employment Development Department issued an upbeat “Labor Day briefing,” saying “labor markets in California continue to get stronger” and “unemployment is falling faster in California than it is in the nation …”

If one looks beyond the hype, however, the economic picture is muddier.

Certain regions and economic sectors are doing very well – especially the San Francisco Bay Area and its high-tech industry.

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