In Fits and Starts

The state unemployment numbers for July were just released, and it is a pretty mixed bag. Overall, the rate is stagnant at 12.3%, but there are small rays of hope.

The state’s unemployment rate remained constant at 12.3%. … Many of the jobs cuts were in the government sector as temporary census jobs ended, according to a release from the state Employment Development Department. Private sector employers added 13,700 jobs to payrolls. Still, the state lost jobs in the manufacturing, leisure and professional and business services sector. (LA Times)

The census cuts were expected, and the fact that the census was done cheaper and faster than ever before is a credit to the Commerce Department, and the folks who worked themselves out of a job. The billion dollars that the census was under budget will now go to other programs in the federal government.

But the other thing to notice is that the regional economies in the state are quite different.  The Bay Area remains the strongest, with Marin County having the lowest unemployment rate followed closely by several other Bay Area Counties.  Los Angeles is a worrisome 13.4%, but Santa Barbara and a few other coastal counties are doing better, but you check out the full list by county here (h/t to SF Weekly).

Meanwhile, the crisis seems to show no signs of letting up in other parts of the state.  Imperial County’s 30%+ unemployment is simply shocking, followed by upper teens in several other Central Valley counties.

This is where it becomes appropriate to mention just how critical it is to defeat Prop 23.  The promise of green jobs shines most brightly in communities where land is cheaper with abundant helpings of wind and sun.  Imperial County would be a particularly devastated by the loss of green jobs with the failure to implement AB 32.

What is also clear is that now is not the time to further exacerbate the problem by laying off 40,000 valuable state workers. While we are always forced to make tough decisions in a rough economy, austerity measures will harm the economy far more than many of the revenue measures that have been proposed.  We can’t simply go down the path of cut, cut, cut without expecting such negative reactions.  We cannot sacrifice our public sector without damaging the long-term stability of our economy.

5 thoughts on “In Fits and Starts”

  1. Aug. 9  

    (SACRAMENTO) – …..AB 1846 expedites the environmental review process for projects that involve upgrades or retrofits to bring businesses into compliance with the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32).


    Sponsored by the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance, the bill empowers state water and air agencies with the discretion to use a focused environmental impact report for projects that install pollution control equipment or change their raw material formulations to a more sustainable product for the purposes of complying with AB 32.

    Examples of types of eligible projects could include energy efficiency modifications, diesel heater/boiler replacements, combined heating and cooling, tank infrastructure upgrades to comply with the low carbon fuel standard, and replacing natural gas compressors with electric ones. …..

    There is so much good work to be done, it’s simply insane that we aren’t already on Year Three of major public investment here.  The legislators can tweak the regulations, facilitate the federal dollars, but we need serious state investment in Imperial County.

  2. “valuable” state workers agree to a pay cut as most in the private sector would have gladly done in face of avoiding a layoff.

    I used to think the conservatives were a little over the top calling you all socialists.  Not so much anymore…

    Those of us working in the real world attempting productive enterprise will continue to mock the grand proclamations made from your ivory towers.

    Be wary, those towers foundations have some huge cracks…  

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