Although predicting a thaw in the current recession by 2010, the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation's Jack Kyser isn't laying out a bed of roses for Californians. The normally upbeat Kyser -- it seems only yesterday he predicted a post-9/11 boom for L.A. -- told the L.A. Business Journal that "[i]t will be the end of 2009 before signs of recovery start to appear and well into 2010 before people really notice any recovery." In the meantime, a just-released report by the LAEDC is predicting "intense pain" for the rest of 2009 for L.A.'s economy. The worst sectors? Automobiles and housing. Los Angeles County's unemployment rate will edge toward 11 percent -- which, while hardly at Weimar levels, is projected to include 89,000 more lost jobs in 2009.
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In a sign that the pain is hardly localized to L.A. or brown-baggers, even Bain & Company, the business consultants who love to describe middle- and upper-class consumer passions in lurid terms, says luxury items are being crossed off most people's to-do lists. Summarizing 2008, Bain's "research shows that Luxury-industry sales will drop next year for the first time in a decade as shoppers are spending less on higher-priced versions of goods from consumer electronics to cars as economies slow or shrink and companies pare payrolls."