According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, California’s unemployment rate stands at a staggering 11.9%. That is the highest rate since records started being kept after World War II.

Nationally, as we reported here, unemployment had dipped in July nationally, going from 9.5% to 9.4%. The rise in unemployment from 11.6% to 11.9% in California (the nation’s largest economy) was not expected, and could spell trouble for the economy.

California is tied with Oregon for the fourth-highest unemployment rate. Rhode Island, Michigan and Nevada are even worse off than California.

Our nation’s economy is dependent on consumer spending. It’s 2/3rds of our economy. People have largely stopped spending because they fear for their jobs, and justifiably so. The unemployment rate does not capture the underemployed or those who have simply stopped looking for work. All told, many economists estimate that at least 20 to 25% of Americans have been negatively affected in their job prospects as a result of the recession, either by being laid off, demoted, or giving up knocking on employers’ doors.

There have been some positive economic signs in the last couple of months. The stock market has stabilized. The other economies in the world (namely China, France and Germany) have started to grow. Things seemed to have stopped getting worse.

But until we have job creation, things won’t get better.

What happened to that $787 billion stimulus package? Couldn’t all that money have bought us at least one or two jobs?