Southern California residents are also spending more time out on the road, with the average commute now almost 30 minutes.
Palmdale posted the longest commute in the U.S. at 41.5 minutes. It barely edged out New York City, with its congestion and sprawling subway system, at 39.4 minutes. Shortest commute time: Bloomington, Ill., at 14.1 minutes.
Gas prices have also had an impact, as more commuters are carpooling and using public transportation.
Unemployment remains a serious concern.
The economy has forced many older Americans to work longer. More than 6 million people over the age of 65 remain on the job, which is up 15 percent from 2007.
The number of immigrants coming to Southern California looking for work has decreased dramatically, as there simply isn't much work. Many have headed back to their native countries.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.