California may have an 11.7 percent unemployment rate. But it's the 88 percent of people with jobs that could give this holiday shopping season a boost. Chapman University Economist Esmael Adibi says during the recession, Californians were nervous about their jobs and cautious at the store.
Adibi: "All of us - I mean, we slowed down. If we needed a suit, we said maybe not now. If we needed a shoe, not now. Or you know, an electronic gadget, maybe."
But Adibi says even though it's not a huge improvement, the economy is bouncing back.
Adibi: "And now the fact that they hear some good economic news, they basically say, I survived. And then the pent-up demand is kicking in."
Still, Adibi says, a jump in gas prices or a nosedive in the stock market could make this year's holiday season a rough one for retailers.