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County labor report

Unemployment dips, but 900 non-farm jobs lost

San Diego County's 2016 unemployment rate
San Diego County's 2016 unemployment rate

San Diego County's unemployment rate was 4.2 percent in December, down from a revised 4.3 percent in November, and less than the state's 5 percent and nation's 4.5 percent during the same period, according to the California Employment Development Department.

However, the county lost 900 non-farm jobs in the month. This may seem anomalous but is not. Those considered unemployed are people who have no job, have recently looked for one, and are available for work. Thus, the county can lose jobs but have a lower unemployment rate or gain jobs and have a higher rate.

Wholesale and retail employment rose sharply from November to December, as they normally do in the gift-giving season. Over 12 months, the county gained 28,900 jobs.

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San Diego County's 2016 unemployment rate
San Diego County's 2016 unemployment rate

San Diego County's unemployment rate was 4.2 percent in December, down from a revised 4.3 percent in November, and less than the state's 5 percent and nation's 4.5 percent during the same period, according to the California Employment Development Department.

However, the county lost 900 non-farm jobs in the month. This may seem anomalous but is not. Those considered unemployed are people who have no job, have recently looked for one, and are available for work. Thus, the county can lose jobs but have a lower unemployment rate or gain jobs and have a higher rate.

Wholesale and retail employment rose sharply from November to December, as they normally do in the gift-giving season. Over 12 months, the county gained 28,900 jobs.

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14

What is important is the quality of jobs not the quantity. Good paying jobs with decent benefits and pension are needed if wants any quality of life and future security. Low wage jobs with low/no benefits does nothing for the economy. The taxpayer picks up the tab now and in the future when we invest in Walmart and McJobs. Employers use part time workers to avoid paying benefits and rely on immigrants, legal and illegal, to preform work a low wages often paid under the table to avoid paying taxes. Immigrants, for the most part, will not stand up to their employer and are less likely to report abuses. We are fast approaching a two class system of the haves and the working poor. Employers view workers as a resource to be used, abused and tossed away. Hard, dirty, difficult work is not valued. As long as we try to solve illegal immigration at the border in stead of the workplace the quality of jobs will decline.

Jan. 21, 2017

America, the nation of the "fissured workplace". It used to be that companies actually cared more about there employees, saw them as an indirect way to be profitable, and therefore offered pensions and other fringe benefits. Since the mid 70's this started to change. Companies no longer thought long term, and considered regular employees a liability, and a cost center which they strived to mitigate through the use of staffing agencies. Staffing agencies typically offer no benefits to their contingent employees, and it is really easy for you to be cut loose as you have fewer protections working for the staffing agency then you do working directly for the company. I think in the long term this trend will reverse unless we lose our democracy and become a fascist dictatorship.

Jan. 22, 2017

hwstar: After World War II, companies needed labor because of the rapid economic growth. Also, 25% to 30% of workers were unionized, compared to about 8% today. Pay and fringes were good and unions were powerful.

Then in the 1970s and 1980s came globalization. Products from foreign nations poured in at lower prices, and in the case of cars, higher reliability. Companies began moving jobs to low- and slave-wage nations.

Laws were reinterpreted. In the 1950s and 1960s, boards of directors had several constituencies: employees, communities, vendors, customers, the environment, shareholders. Beginning in the 1970s and escalating in the 1980s, courts said that the only constituency of the board was the shareholder.

More jobs were shipped overseas, labor unions were impotent, top management got obscenely high pay as lower level employees got disgracefully low pay, as is the case today.

We ended up with a huge wealth and income gap between the rich and middle and lower classes, as well as a political split. It's a mess. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 23, 2017

AlexClarke: Agreed 100%. What's important is the quality of the jobs. Unemployment figures only measure the quantity. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 23, 2017

We have five layers of working classes. Those with government jobs. Those with union jobs. Those with jobs working directly for the corporation. Those working as contractors to any of the higher tiers. And the rest who work part-time, under the table, gigs... they may be citizens or migrants (legal or illegal) competing for the same low pay and tips.

Ten years ago whoever would have though they would be a taxi driver? Now tens of thousands of Americans, some of whose lineages date back to the Revolution, are competing for driving gigs with refugees from the Middle East and Africa. Driving the wealthier working classes around and delivering their goods and meals.

Have the methods for reporting employment been updated with the new realities of the labor market? We still do not 'create' enough jobs to keep up with population growth, both from domestic birth rates and all the various visa and other immigration schemes.

Jan. 21, 2017

Absolutely true. When unions represented 22%-25% of the working force (1050's - '70's) it set the benchmark for non-union employers/employees. There is no benchmark in the private sector except minimum wage which is used as a ceiling not a floor. Employers want immigration to keep the number of job seekers high so as to keep wages low. America First has nothing to do with the working classes.

Jan. 21, 2017

AlexClarke: The decline of organized union membership has led to profound societal changes, particularly in politics. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 23, 2017

Ponzi: It's a good idea to rework the unemployment figures. They are losing meaning. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 23, 2017

Ponzi, time to do some scheming.

We are in the age of the trump, and as hwstar has pointed out, we have been since the '70's (at least that's when the graphs went exponential).

Remember EST? "Training" on how to "win" by beating, on how to become a spoiled brat. What we used to call sociopathology. "We has met the enemy and he is US," said The Great Pogo. Or, as Kenneth Boulding once put it, "We have only two choices, really. We can have an 'I beat you down, you beat me down, I beat you down' society, or we can have an 'I lift you up, you lift me up, I lift you up' society."

Jan. 22, 2017

Flapper: We sure don't have the second type of society -- the desirable kind. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 23, 2017

Read "The Gift."

Jan. 24, 2017

"Lies, damned lies, and statistics." --Sam Clemens

Jan. 22, 2017

Flapper:That was one of Twain's best lines. Another one: he defined a gold mine as a hole in the ground with a liar on the top. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 23, 2017

Human hubris (is there any other kind?) is more deadly than The Bomb.

Jan. 24, 2017

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