(photo credit: The Crucible)
The state of California’s labor picture continued to brighten last month. The state’s employers added another 44,000 jobs and the state unemployment rate dropped from 8.7 percent to 8.5 percent. While more people going to work is always good news, it’s where these jobs are being created that is the cause of optimism. Construction and manufacturing each added over 6,000 jobs statewide.
It is estimated that the state lost nearly 700,000 construction jobs with the collapse of the state’s housing economy. The revival in recent months, although modest, has been a steady contributor to the decline in the unemployment rate.
The manufacturing sector, as we noted is also rebounding. Keep an eye on what’s going on in Long Beach. State and Long Beach area economic leaders are working hard to win a contract to build the Boeing 777x airliner in Long Beach. Twenty-two states are vying for the business, but the Long Beach efforts are contending enough to have been captured in a recent story in the Seattle Times. The aerospace industry was once as associated with California as movie making, but since the end of the Cold War, it has moved elsewhere.
California, and particularly L.A County, has a large manufacturing base, which is a key element in trying to attract the Boeing project. With the manufacturing of the C-17 military cargo plane to cease operations in Long Beach soon, winning the 777x contract would be a boon for the middle-class skilled workforce there.
Stay tuned. We’ll be highlighting the work of the Long Beach and state officials in later blogs.
The work of the California Economic Summit has continued since the state meeting in Los Angeles on November 8. Hundreds of Californians are working on the initiatives that have come out the meetings across the state. Those initiatives include workforce preparation, infrastructure development and regulatory reform among others.
A summary report of the Summit work will be released next week.
The Summit is a joint venture of California Forward and the California Stewardship Network. In the last two and a half years, thousands of Californians have gathered in regional and state meetings to work toward policies that will help increase job creation and improve the state’s ability to compete in a global economy.
One issue that was raised in the Summit that has been receiving considerable media attention since has been the concept of the “2 Californias”—the idea that California’s inland economies are not performing as well as many of the coastal areas. Summit Steering Committee Co-Chair Paul Granillo was interviewed by KNBC in Los Angeles on the topic. See the video here.