The state's jobless rate remained at historically high levels in September because tens of thousands of the unemployed have simply given up hope and stopped looking for work. According to the Contra Costa Times, California's unemployment rate was 12.2 percent last month, down slightly from 12.3 percent in August, but still the highest since 1940. "There are a lot of discouraged workers out there," Jon Haveman, economist and co-owner of Beacon Economics, told the Times. "The unemployment rate decline is definitely due to people who are dropping out of the labor force. They have given up on looking for work."