California suffered the nation’s 4th-worst pandemic job loss

California suffered the nation’s fourth-smallest job recovery and fourth-highest unemployment rate over the past 12 months of the pandemic.

My trusty spreadsheet, filled with February employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, details the impact of the pandemic’s economic wallop and California’s strict business limitations designed to slow the spread of coronavirus. Those restrictions have fueled a heated political debate about the balance between public health and economic opportunities.

On a national scale, California is down the most jobs — off 1.66 million workers since February 2020, just as the pandemic hit the nation. After California, job losses were greatest in New York, down 1.06 million; and Texas,

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