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The East Bay is Sinking

"The East Bay is sinking."

That's quite a quote.

The Bay Area is losing jobs and the East Bay is bearing the brunt of it. The Contra Costa Times reports 10,300 jobs gone in June

The Bay Area lost more than 10,000 jobs in June, crushing hopes that the private sector could spur a quick recovery for the region's wobbly economy, a state labor report showed. The loss of 10,300 payroll jobs in the Bay Area marked the nine-county region's worst one-month performance since September, according to the report by the state's Employment Development Department. Every part of the Bay Area shed jobs during June, according to the Employment Development Department. The worst losses battered the East Bay. Statewide, employers jettisoned 26,700 jobs. The employment setbacks in California and the Bay Area appeared to be largely due to a lack of hiring in the private sector and the disappearance of temporary census jobs.
NOTE: California's official unemployment rate fell from 12.4% to 12.3% because 24,000 unemployed people gave up looking. If you give up, you don't count.
Every part of the Bay Area shed jobs during June, according to the Employment Development Department. The worst losses battered the East Bay. The numbers were adjusted for seasonal changes.
  • The East Bay lost 3,800 jobs.
  • The San Francisco-San Mateo-Marin region shed 3,500 jobs.
  • The South Bay lost 700 jobs.
  • Solano County lost 300 jobs.
  • A bright spot in Northern California: San Joaquin County, which added 100 jobs."The East Bay is sinking," Michael said.Perhaps the worst single blow came in April, when the shutdown of the NUMMI in Fremont eliminated 4,700 jobs at the auto plant. Another 2,000 jobs in the East Bay and Central Valley were lost when NUMMI suppliers downsized."The East Bay has been through the wringer," Michael said. "But with NUMMI behind us, maybe the worst is over." Since employment peaked in March 2007, the East Bay has lost 112,000 payroll jobs. Over the same period, the Bay Area lost 237,000 jobs.
Unemployed people spend less, hurting other businesses. And, because there are now about 5 job-seekers for every opening, people are willing to work for less, pushing incomes down. I'm starting to hear more stories of frozen salaries, cut bonuses, and even flat-out pay cuts.

There was some good news today, as the Senate passed an extension of unemployment benefits for up to 99 weeks. This sounds like an eternity...and many will question if excessive subsidies are dissuading people from finding jobs...but by looking at this chart, you can see that something needs to be done. These are not ordinary times.
The median duration of unemployment isn't just the highest it's been in 50 years, it's twice the highest!

And, looking forward, we still have an awful lot of city, county, and state layoffs in front of us as each is forced to deal with massive budget problems.

Jobless benefits will no doubt help thousands of struggling families here in the Bay Area..for a little while longer anyway. But, a $400 unemployment check won't make much of a dent in our high mortgage and rent payments.

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