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Ward Cleaver’s Job World (Los Angeles 1957)

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

(A longer version of this posting will be appearing in the journal of the California State Library, which houses the collected papers of Mr. Bernick). Over the past few months, I have been researching the job world in 1950s California for an essay in our California State Library journal. As part of the research, I […]

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What Explains the Decline in Entrepreneurship in California

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

The decision last week by Tesla Motors to locate its battery factory in Nevada attracted the most media attention among economics stories, and generated a new wave of articles about California’s economic competitiveness. But our real concern should be not Tesla (California government did everything possible) but the decline in entrepreneurship in California as elsewhere, […]

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What California Job Specialists Can Learn Today From Joan Rivers

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

 (Editor’s Note: The following piece by Michael Bernick appeared in Fox and Hounds Daily on September 18, 2013. We are re-posting in memory of Ms. Rivers who passed away yesterday.) California’s job specialists (and all of us) can learn much from studying the career and current employments of Joan Rivers—as demonstrated recently on the set […]

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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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