Golden State's job cuts in '09 worst in years
California's job cuts during 2009 were the worst in at least 19 years, as the state's once-golden economy shed 579,400 jobs, a grim milestone that included the loss of 126,000 Bay Area jobs, state officials reported Friday. While the unemployment rate in Solano County fell slightly to below the statewide average in December, the newly released figures show it also rose slightly in Napa County during the same period. But while the new jobless figures might indicate an increase in the number of local people employed, a state Employment Development Department spokeswoman said that's unlikely. Solano County's unemployment rate was 11.9 percent in December, down from 12.2 percent in November and above the year-ago estimate of 8.6 percent…. This compares with a statewide unadjusted unemployment rate of 12.1 percent and a 9.7 percent for the nation during the same period. The job losses represented the latest fallout from a recession that has savaged every part of the state. California employers eliminated nearly 39,000 positions in December…. "The job losses in December were spread across a wide number of industries." Locally, the results were mixed. EDD employment market analyst Ruth Kavanagh said the latest figures indicate a percentage of people locally "have dropped out of the labor force for whatever reason." "Some may have moved, or gone back to school," she said. "Or they may have given up looking for work or it could be from real improvements." According to EDD figures, some 4,800 jobs were lost in Solano County in the past year. Some 400 were lost since November, compared to 300 the month before, according to the figures. The best news in the most recent report is that no jobs were lost -- though none were gained, either -- in several professional sectors, the report shows….