California’s Workforce Professionals and Insights from Unlikely Sources

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

This morning is the start of the 2014 California Workforce Association (CWA) conference in San Diego. CWA is the leading association of workforce professionals in our state, and a main force for educating and professionalizing our field. Regarding education, we have noted in recent years that workforce professionals can learn much not only from writings […]

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Does Where You Go to College Impact Your Job Future in California?

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

The posting below is a variation of an essay which first appeared in Zocalo Public Square on April 9, 2014 (here), and perhaps a useful antidote to this recent news article on college admissions (here). This month, high school seniors throughout California are receiving college decision notices of acceptance and rejection.  They, and their parents, […]

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Today’s Job Decisions: There’s a Fine Fine Line

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

In the musical Avenue Q, Kate Monster (Julie Atherton, below) sings about the “fine fine line” that characterizes many social relationships: between “reality and pretend”, between “you’re wonderful, and goodbye”, and most of all between “love, and a waste of your time.” So in the job market similar fine, fine lines exist in hiring, in […]

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California Job Seekers Per Job Opening in 2014

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

As we note from time to time, the Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) provides rich material to understand the current and emerging job world in the United States and California. In the past few years, we have drawn on JOLTS data relating to the enormous number of job […]

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Will the Tech Sector Rebuild the Middle Class in California

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

This past Thursday night, the headquarters of Dropbox at 185 Berry Street in San Francisco was packed for a discussion, “Can Tech Rebuild the Middle Class and the American Dream”. The discussion was hosted by FWD.us, as part of the group’s focus on the technology sector’s impact on employment and the emerging economy. FWD.us is […]

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The Tectonic Plates Shifting Under the California Job Market in 2014

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

The tectonic plates continue to shift under the California job market in 2014. Full time employment with benefits is replaced by contingent and part time employment, the labor force participation rate continues to fall, the competition for each position increases, the job tenure rate declines. The latest to weigh in on a number of these […]

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Best Workforce Strategies for Californians with Greatest Barriers?

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

What are the best workforce strategies today for Californians with greatest employment barriers–ex-offenders, ex-addicts, workers with physical or neurological disabilities or mental illnesses?  Beyond the current minimum wage debates, what of workers who can’t even get minimum wage jobs? Ms. Carla Javits, the President & CEO of REDF, has thought about these questions since she […]

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Why the Labor Force Participation Rate Continues to Drop in California

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

Last Friday’s state job numbers showed the California unemployment rate decreasing to 8.3%, from 8.5% in November. This follows a steady drop in unemployment since 2010, when unemployment was at 12.5%. Job growth explains part of this drop in unemployment—California has gained 922,500 payroll jobs since February 2010. But the drop is also explained by […]

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Wage Inequality in California: Why the Conventional Wisdom is Wrong

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

(This brief essay on wage inequality in our state first appeared last Friday at Zocalo Public Square.) The wage gap between rich and poor Californians is rising to the top of the political agenda in 2014. In December, the state legislature formed a caucus to end poverty and inequality in California that will be chaired […]

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The Job Gold Rush in San Francisco: Can It Be Replicated Elsewhere?

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

Comstock’s magazine in Sacramento reports this week on the Sacramento-based construction businesses that are flocking to projects in the Bay Area, especially San Francisco. This report continues a long line of articles over the past few months on  San Francisco’s white-hot economy and job market. The local unemployment rate is down to 5.2%, building cranes […]

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