As the state unemployment rate hit a record 11.2 percent-the highest since 1976-the number of people in San Diego County who lost their jobs has also gone up.

According the San Diego State finance professor Dan Seiver, if the stock market is the nation's best indicator of how the economy is performing, the fact that there have been tremendous rallies since March lows tells him that the economy should hit bottom in the next six to nine months.

Figures just released by the U.S. Labor Department, California has the nation's fourth-highest unemployment rate, behind only South Carolina, Oregon and Michigan.

Seiver attributes the decline to the housing bust, but he says it's not going to get worse for much longer. However, in the near future, he expects the state's unemployment rate to continue to rise.

Because of California's rising unemployment rate, the South Metro Career Center (SMCC) has extended its hours of operation to include Saturdays.

The SMCC is open to those who wish to file unemployment claims.