Labor Day 2014: 3 Truths and a Lie

Michael Bernick
Former California Employment Development Department Director & Milken Institute Fellow

As we come to Labor Day 2014, it is time to consider where we have come since last year’s Labor Day and where we might be going. Here are three truths and a lie about the job market in California. Truth 1- California is in the midst of one of its longest employment expansions since […]

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The Energy and Creativity of the Internet Job Placement Sites

Michael Bernick
Former California Employment Development Department Director & Milken Institute Fellow

This summer, Congress enacted the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) which governs the $3 billion or so spent each year by the federal government on job training. Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez, announced that the Act would bring U.S. job training in the 21st century. I started in the public workforce system in 1979 […]

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The Last Days of Heavy Manufacturing in California

Michael Bernick
Former California Employment Development Department Director & Milken Institute Fellow

In 1993, novelist and California native Joan Didion traveled to the City of Lakewood in Southern California to report on its changing employment and culture. Her essay, “Trouble in Lakewood”, published 21 years ago this week, detailed a declining economy and troubled culture. Lakewood was the largest of California’s suburbs built in the immediate post […]

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Turning Japanese: How Japan’s Breakdown in Employment Is Resembling Ours

Michael Bernick
Former California Employment Development Department Director & Milken Institute Fellow

Over the past four years, we have written frequently about major shifts in the structure of employment in California: the breakdown in full time employment and rise of alternative forms of contingent, project-based and part time employment. Precarious Japan, a new book from Duke University Press, examines how a surprisingly similar shift is impacting the […]

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California’s Employment Legacy: A Call to Readers

Michael Bernick
Former California Employment Development Department Director & Milken Institute Fellow

Mr. Gary Kurutz, the longtime Director of the Special Collections Branch of the California State Library, Mr. Michael Dolguskhin, State Library archivist, and I are researching employment in California in the 1950s and 1960s. We’d like to ask your participation: hearing from you of your recollections of employment of family, friends and neighbors during these […]

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How Long Will California’s Job Growth Last? (And Joan Rivers Revisited)

Michael Bernick
Former California Employment Development Department Director & Milken Institute Fellow

Last Friday’s monthly jobs report through May 2014 showed payroll jobs increasing by 18,300 over the month and 341,000 payroll jobs over the year. In the more than four years since February 2010, California has had steady monthly job gains, which through May have reached 1,327,000 added payroll jobs. How long can the job gains […]

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Job Placement Technologies on the March in California

Michael Bernick
Former California Employment Development Department Director & Milken Institute Fellow

The technologies of job placement continue in 2014 to rapidly evolve. Hundreds of technology entrepreneurs are introducing new products and approaches to knock off firms that have dominated the job placement industry in the past few years, including Monster.com and LinkedIn. One of the new job placement technologies is by Ascendify, a California-based cloud software […]

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Perhaps in California’s Share Economy?

Michael Bernick
Former California Employment Development Department Director & Milken Institute Fellow

At the Share Economy conference in San Francisco earlier this month, speakers from the internet economy companies and their investors touted their new industry, as “creating a new movement”, “shifting human behavior”, a “revolution in how consumers view the world”. Hyperbole? Yes. Over the top? Yes. Failure to consider negative consequences? Yes. But in the […]

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“What Does this Mean for the Job Seeker In Glendale?”: Thoughts on Michael Krisman

Michael Bernick
Former California Employment Development Department Director & Milken Institute Fellow

At all levels of government, a good amount of time is spent on process issues, or the wording of forms, or highly abstract discussions of poverty or unemployment that bear little relation to the poor or unemployed. Michael Krisman, Deputy Director at the Employment Development Department (EDD) in the early 2000s, recognized this and it […]

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Can the Long Term Unemployed Find Jobs in California Today?

Michael Bernick
Former California Employment Development Department Director & Milken Institute Fellow

During the Great Recession the number of long term unemployed in California—defined as those unemployed at least 27 weeks—increased at a significantly more rapid pace than the unemployed overall. In March 2007, prior to the Great Recession, 145,000 Californians were unemployed at least 27 weeks, constituting 16.8% of the unemployed. By March 2010, the long […]

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