BOE Member George Runner

Senator George Runner is an elected member of the California State Board of Equalization.

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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

 
 

Addressing Job Losses Should Be Job #1 in Sacramento

 

by BOE Member George Runner - State Capitol (bio) (email)(print)

 
9-21-2009 9:30 am

According to a recent PPIC (Public Policy Institute of California) poll, almost half of Californians are worried that they, or someone in their family, will lose their job in the next year.  With the unemployment rate topping 12 percent and given the fact that most of California's job losses - 760,200 of the 952,800 attributed to the current economic recession - occurred only in the last year, those concerns are unfortunately well founded.

All told, more than two million Californians are unemployed, with thousands more joining their ranks every month.  In July, eight industry sectors lost jobs, including 15,900 in the trade, transportation, and utilities fields, 10,700 construction jobs, and 3,300 manufacturing jobs. 

The only sector to enjoy job gains over the year was educational and health with 17,900, but 3,300 jobs were lost there in July.  Between July 2008 and July 2009 the trade, transportation and utilities sector lost a staggering 196,600 jobs.  144,500 construction jobs, 132,000 professional and business services jobs, 124,400 manufacturing jobs, 62,100 jobs in the leisure and hospitality industries and tens of thousands of other positions also vanished during the same time frame.

Entire cities could be populated by the unemployed men and women behind the numbers of each of these job loss categories and economic forecasters tell us that things are going to get worse before they get better.  So, not surprisingly, 52% of respondents to the aforementioned PPIC poll cited jobs and the economy as the 'most important issue facing people in California today.'

You might think that job creation and retention would then obviously be the top priority in the State Capitol.  Sadly, you would be wrong.  Majority Democrats did not pass even one job creating bill this year.  Worse, they continued to churn out legislation adding to the cost of doing business in California, making our already notoriously hostile business climate even less attractive to employers.

Enough is enough.  We need to reduce business fees and regulations and take every viable action we can to promote economic growth and job creation.  If there were ever a time for politicians to pander to public opinion, it's right now.  Californians want to get back to work, and Sacramento needs to get serious about making California's economy competitive again so that can happen. 

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