With nearly one in five people in Stanislaus County out of work, the question has never been simpler.
When are the jobs coming back?
The Northern San Joaquin Valley's unemployment rate, while historically higher than the rest of the state, has skyrocketed. It's 19.1 percent in the county.
Across Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Merced counties 124,800 people were looking for work in February alone.
Compare that with the recession of the early 1990s when the annual unemployment rate hovered in the mid- to high teens for four years, hitting its peak in February 1993 at 19.7 percent. The rate stabilized by mid-decade and then descended to historic lows thanks to the construction boom of the early 2000s.
But economists and experts caution that without a similar boom on the horizon, the road to recovery will be as long, if not longer, than the previous decade's recession.
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