More Conflicting Economic News


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Although the unemployment rate remains high across the country, especially in California, there are some signs that the recession may be easing. According to the Associated Press, the index of leading economic indicators showed that the nation experienced three straight months of growth from April through June. Seven of the Conference Board index's ten indicators rose last month, including building permits, stock prices, and manufacturers' new orders for consumer goods. In addition, a government report last week showed that construction of new homes had risen to the highest level in seven months.

Still, the unemployment figures remain dismal. Nationwide it stands at 9.5 percent, and in California, it was 11.6 percent in June — the sixth highest in the country, according to the Chron. Michigan, which has been devastated by the crumbling auto industry, has the highest jobless rate at 15.2 percent. In the East Bay, unemployment stood at 11.1 percent.