What We’ve Learned from California’s Previous “Wars on Poverty”

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

In his 2015-2016 Budget Summary, Governor Jerry Brown elevates the issue of poverty in California. Over the next few months in a series of postings at Fox & Hounds, we will address what we’ve learned from California’s previous efforts to reduce poverty, in such areas as adult education, welfare reform, reducing teen pregnancy, and job […]

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The Autism Job Club and the Neurodiverse Workforce in California

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

This week The Autism Job Club is being published (book’s website). Richard Holden, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Regional Commissioner and I are the authors. Much of the book focuses on employment initiatives in California, especially a job club for adults with autism that we have been involved with in the Bay Area. When I […]

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Rebuilding California’s Middle Class: One Community College at a Time

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

(This posting is a slightly revised version of an essay that appeared the past few days in Zocalo Public Square and in Time Magazine.) In the past few weeks, President Obama’s free community college tuition proposal has received a lot of media attention as a strategy for rebuilding the middle class. Even if the president’s […]

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Tracking the 5 Major Employment Indicators in California

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

Last week the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) was issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (for data through November 2014). It includes key employment indicators of job openings and job openings per job seeker. It builds on November 2014 data released earlier for the key state employment indicators of unemployment rate, […]

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Where California’s Jobs Are Being Created and Sustained

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

Last Thursday, Ross DeVol, chief research officer at the Milken Institute (MI), came to San Francisco to unveil the findings of the MI annual Best Performing Cities study. The presentation not only set out the rankings of metropolitan areas for 2014, but also addressed the current and projected key drivers and dynamics of job growth. […]

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This Morning’s High-Speed Rail Groundbreaking in Fresno: One Backstory

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

Groundbreakings of major California infrastructure projects (transit, water, roadways) are usually Potemkin village affairs, populated by politicians who have had little to do with the project that was in development for many years by their (usually absent) predecessors. This morning’s groundbreaking in Fresno for the California High Speed Rail system should at least feature current […]

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Faster, Faster, Smarter, Smarter: The Internet Job Placement Sites Speed Into 2015

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

The world of the internet job placement sites continues to grow rapidly in 2014. With so many job placement sites, which is the right one for a job seeker in California to use? To get perspective we might turn to Matt Hendrickson, CEO of Ascendify (www.ascendify.com), and one of California’s leading internet entrepreneurs in job […]

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Our Appointment in Samarra

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

The phrase “Appointment in Samarra” is usually associated with the 1934 novel of that name by John O’Hara. But its origin is the 1933 play, Sheppey, by Somerset Maugham. Near the end of the play, Maugham recounts the Arabian fable of Death and the Servant. The speaker is Death: There was a merchant in Bagdad […]

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President Obama’s Immigration Order and California Employment

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

It’s not too early to start considering how President Obama’s Immigration Order will impact California job markets. In fact, this past weekend has seen several commentators weigh in already, including Chapman University faculty member (and occasional Fox & Hounds contributor) Joel Kotkin, and USC faculty member Manual Pastor. Like nearly all employment issues in California, […]

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Why Our Economic Dissatisfaction Will Not End Soon

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

The economic dissatisfaction expressed in exit polls throughout the nation last Tuesday is not likely to end soon, despite happy-face federal government reports. As we look ahead to 2015 and beyond here in California, we should take note of some of the reasons, especially two lesser-discussed reasons. Last Friday, the Labor Department announced that the […]

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