California unemployment up, Bay Bridge to open, and the Hyperloop

150 150 Ed Coghlan

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The California Unemployment Rate for July actually increased to 8.7%, up two tenths of a point from June.  There was some quirky data this month. For instance, it showed a decrease in the number of construction jobs even though housing construction is picking up around the state.  And even with the increase, California created 38,000 new jobs last month.

The State Employment Office reports there are still 1.6 million unemployed persons in California, which is too many, obviously, but the good news is that there are 328,000 more Californians working today than there were a year ago.

Another bright spot from Bloomberg this week covered California’s reduced short-term borrowing, which is an indication that the state’s overall economic strengthening that we’ve seen in the last year is expected to continue.

The long awaited and long delayed new east span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge will open on September 3.  The California Economic Summit has identified infrastructure investment as one of the signature initiatives for improving the state’s economy. We draw your attention to an interesting opinion piece we ran this week written by Chris Taylor, Executive Director of the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange.

In addition to the infrastructure initiative, here are the other signature initiatives that have been identified for the Summit’s Action teams. Results will be discussed at the state meeting in Los Angeles November 7 and 8.

The week shouldn’t end without a nod to Elon Musk, the California entrepreneur who was making news this week with his idea about the “Hyperloop”, essentially a tube that would allow high speed transit between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Musk, as you probably know, made his mark by founding PayPal, the online payment service.

Not content to stop there, he also founded Tesla Motors—a phenomenally successful electric car company that is catering to the high end customer and Space X—a privately sponsored space travel company.

The Hyperloop, which is outlined here by Musk, would get a person from L.A to San Francisco in about half an hour. It won’t be happening soon, but it sure has stimulated a lot of conversation this week.

The idea appears to be in direct competition to Governor Brown’s bullet train. The LA Times reported this week that the work on the Governor’s infrastructure project has been delayed again and won’t start until next year, two years after it was originally scheduled.

Musk and Brown are big thinking Californians. It’s good to have them both here. 


Ed Coghlan

All stories by: Ed Coghlan