More Evidence that California Has a Wage Gap More Than a Skills Gap

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

Last Thursday, the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education released Low Wage Work in California: 2014 Chartbook, its most recent study of earnings in California. Among the chief findings: the gap continues to grow between the low wage workforce and the rest of the California workforce. The study drew on Census Bureau data […]

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‘High Flying, Adored’: What Happens to California Politicians Who Succeed Young

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

Last week, Michael Dolgushkin and Shelby Kendrick of the California State Library and I were going through a collection of papers from the 1980s. Unexpectedly, we found issues of the journal, Golden State Report (GSR), for the two year period, 1987-1988. GSR has been out of business for many years. But in the 1980s, led […]

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Has BART’s Second Bay Crossing Reached A Tipping Point?

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

(Editor’s Note: This short essay originally appeared, in slightly different form in the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle Insight section, March 22, 2015). Though the idea of a second BART tube has been discussed over the past twenty-five years, in just the past few months it has assumed a striking new momentum.

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The March 2015 Meme of Job Growth, Low Wages

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

In public policy, we often ignore the obvious, due to partisanship, the desire to get along, or ideology. So it is with last Friday’s “puzzle” over both the state and federal jobs reports showing strong job gains, with weak wage growth. This past Friday, due to the annual benchmarking process by EDD, both the state […]

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Gordon Fowler and “Community-Linked Entrepreneurship” in California

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

The Indian Wells Valley Annual Economic Outlook Conference was held last Thursday in the high desert city of Ridgecrest (pop. 27,616) Kern County. This is the 28th year of the conference, and it was unusually well attended with over 400 participants, drawn from throughout the China Lake and greater Valley region. One of the featured […]

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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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