California’s unemployment rate hit a staggering 11.2 percent in March 2009. That is the highest rate ever in California since modern records started being kept by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to the report, only three states have higher rates of unemployment: Michigan, Oregon and South Carolina. California’s unemployment rate is significantly higher than the national unemployment rate, which is currently at 8.5%. Many economists expect both the national and California rate to increase over the next few months.

California suffered across the board, with government jobs falling significantly along with private sector jobs. California has also been hit hard by the collapse of the housing market, since real estate prices were particularly high in California prior to the burst of the real estate bubble.

The number of Californians out of work has more than doubled in the last year. Approximately 2 million Californians are currently unemployed, while 913,000 were out of work a year ago. About 859,000 Californians are currently receiving unemployment benefits, a number that is expected to grow significantly.

According to most economic forecasts, notably one conducted by UCLA, the unemployment rate is expected to rise this year and into 2010, with the national rate to increase to about 10%, and the California rate to hit 12% at least.

If you have a job, thank your lucky stars. If you don’t, best of luck to you. It’s not you, it’s the economy. Unfortunately, things are looking quite grim for the foreseeable future. Obama touted a few “glimmers of hope” in the economy recently, as reported here. Clearly, the numbers are not supporting Obama’s optimism.