Unemployment (see data for this topic)
- Websites with Related Information
- California Budget and Policy Center
- Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP): Income and Work Supports
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
- Insight Center for Community Economic Development
- Pew Charitable Trusts: Financial Security and Mobility
- PolicyforResults.org, Center for the Study of Social Policy
- Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity
- Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), California Employment Development Dept.
- Key Reports and Research
- California's Future, 2019, Public Policy Institute of California
- Cuts and Consequences: Key Facts About the CalWORKs Program in the Aftermath of the Great Recession, 2012, California Budget & Policy Center
- Falling Behind: The Impact of the Great Recession and the Budget Crisis on California's Women and Their Families, 2012, California Budget & Policy Center, Ross, J.
- Hard Choices: Navigating the Economic Shock of Unemployment, 2013, Pew Charitable Trusts, Boguslaw, J., et al.
- Is the Safety Net Catching Unemployed Families?, 2011, Urban Institute, Nichols, A., & Zedlewski, S.
- Portrait of Promise: The California Statewide Plan to Promote Health and Mental Health Equity, 2015, California Dept. of Public Health, Office of Health Equity
- Reducing Child Poverty in California: A Look at Housing Costs, Wages, and the Safety Net, 2017, Public Policy Institute of California, Bohn, S., & Danielson, C.
- The California Economy: Underemployed and Discouraged Workers, 2014, Public Policy Institute of California, Bandy, M., & Bohn, S.
- The California Economy: Unemployment Update, 2014, Public Policy Institute of California, Mejia, M. C., & Bohn, S.
- Unemployment from a Child's Perspective, 2013, Urban Institute & First Focus, Isaacs, J.
- Uneven Progress: What the Economic Recovery Has Meant for California’s Workers, 2013, California Budget & Policy Center, Reidenbach, L.
- Work and Family, 2011, The Future of Children
- County/Regional Reports
- 2014 Solano Children's Report Card, Children's Network of Solano County
- 2017 Kern County Report Card, Kern County Network for Children
- Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan, Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health
- Live Well San Diego Report Card on Children, Families, and Community, 2017, The Children's Initiative & Live Well San Diego
- Orange County Community Indicators Report, Orange County Community Indicators Project
- More Data Sources For Unemployment
- 2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book, Annie E. Casey Foundation
- California Health Interview Survey, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
- Childstats.gov, Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics
- Self-Sufficiency Standard for California, Insight Center for Community Economic Development
- The Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey, Urban Institute
Learn More About This Topic
- Why This Topic Is Important
In 2014, nearly one-third (32.8%) of California children lived in families where no parent had full-time employment (1). Unemployment and underemployment reduce family income and thus can cause financial instability. Financial stress has direct impacts on parents and, in addition to limiting parents’s ability to meet their family’s material needs, can affect their ability to meet their children’s emotional needs. Consequently, family financial hardship can contribute to behavioral and social problems in children, and compound poor physical health (2). Children who experience economic hardship when they are young, or who experience extreme and prolonged hardship, are at greatest risk for poor developmental outcomes (2). Children with unemployed parents also are at higher risk of experiencing family relocation and repeating a grade in school than children whose parents are stably employed (2, 3). In addition, long-term parental unemployment is associated with decreased earnings for children when they enter the work force (3).For more information on unemployment, see kidsdata.org’s Research & Links section.
Sources for this narrative:
1. As cited on kidsdata.org, Children without secure parental employment, by city, school district and county (65,000 residents or more). (2016). Population Reference Bureau, analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey microdata files.
2. Isaacs, J. (2013). Unemployment from a child's perspective. Urban Institute & First Focus. Retrieved from: http://www.urban.org/research/publication/unemployment-childs-perspective
3. Child Trends Databank. (2015). Secure parental employment. Retrieved from: http://www.childtrends.org/?indicators=secure-parental-employment
- Policy Implications
California faces significant workforce challenges. The state unemployment insurance system is insolvent, the state is not producing enough college graduates to meet the future needs of its economy, federal funding for income support designed to help families weather financial hardship has declined, and many segments of the economy have lost substantial numbers of jobs (1, 2).
According to research and subject experts, policy options that could mitigate unemployment include:
For more policy ideas and research on this topic see kidsdata.org’s Research & Links section or visit the Urban Institute, California Budget & Policy Center, or the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Also see Policy Implications on kidsdata.org under Family Income and Poverty, Housing Affordability, and Homelessness.
- Addressing insolvency in the unemployment insurance system to maintain stability and protect workers and employers (1)
- Retooling state K-12 and higher education systems to improve college eligibility, participation, and graduation rates, particularly among Hispanic/Latino, African American/black, and American Indian/Alaska Native students (3)
- Ensuring adequate federal and state funding to support families in hard times, such as cash assistance, subsidized jobs, and other assistance through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and CalWORKs (2, 4)
- Supporting effective job training, workforce development, and re-employment support programs that align with the job market (5)
Sources for this narrative:
1. Legislative Analyst’s Office. (2015). Major issues facing the unemployment insurance program. Retrieved from: http://lao.ca.gov/Publications/Detail/3194
2. California Budget & Policy Center. (2013). A fair chance: Why California should invest in economic opportunity for women and their families. Retrieved from: http://calbudgetcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/130319_A_Fair_Chance.pdf
3. Acosta, R. A., & Martin, E. J. (2013). California urban crisis and fiscal decline: Trends in high school dropout rates and economic implications. Urbana: Urban Affairs and Public Policy, 14. Retrieved from: http://www.urbanauapp.org/wp-content/uploads/robert.pdf
4. Schott, L., & Pavetti, L. (2013). Changes in TANF work requirements could make them more effective in promoting employment. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Retrieved from: http://www.cbpp.org/research/family-income-support/changes-in-tanf-work-requirements-could-make-them-more-effective-in?fa=view&id=3911
5. Acs, G. (2013). Responding to long-term unemployment. Urban Institute. Retrieved from: http://www.urban.org/research/publication/responding-long-term-unemployment
- How Children Are Faring
In 2015, nearly 1.2 million Californians (6.2% of the state workforce) were unemployed, down from a 16-year high of 2.3 million (12.4% of the labor force) in 2010. The trend in California's unemployment mirrors that of the U.S., but California's unemployment figures have been consistently higher since 2000. Unemployment varies across California counties, ranging from 3.4% to 24% in 2015. City-level rates also show variation.
In 2014, 32.8% of California children lived in households without secure parental employment, where no parent worked at least 35 hours per week, at least 50 weeks in the 12 months prior to the survey. California figures for children without secure parent employment have exceeded national figures since at least 2008.
Receive Kidsdata News
Regular emails featuring notable data findings and new features. Visit our Kidsdata News archive for examples.