California’s economic engine quieted in June as employers reduced their payrolls by 1,400, according to a report Friday by the state’s Employment Development Department. It was the second month this year that the state lost jobs. The unemployment rate stayed flat at 4.7%, the lowest rate since November 2000.. . . A net reduction of 1,400 jobs is slight compared with the state’s total employment of about 17 million non-agricultural workers. But it is another indication that 2017 could be a year of cooling for California’s typically bustling job market.
For the first time in years, pay for the lowest-income Americans is rising faster than for other groups. Weekly pay for full-time earners at the lowest 10th percentile of the wage scale rose at a faster rate last quarter, year-to-year, than for any other group measured by the U.S. Labor Department—including those at the top of the income scales who earn five times as much. The shift for low-income workers—including restaurant workers and retail cashiers—who make about $10.75 an hour, is a sign that a tightening labor market is delivering better pay to workers who largely haven’t shared in gains since the recession ended eight years ago, according to economists and government data. Last quarter marked the first time since late 2010 that this earning group’s gains outpaced all others, including the 90th, 75th, 50th and 25th percentiles.
The cost of cleaner air at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles could cost as much as $14 billion according to a draft action plan released by the port complexes today.
The 2017 San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) calls for cleaner trucks, improved on-dock rail infrastructure, transitioning the oldest, most polluting ships out of its fleet and speeding up the deployment of cleaner harbor craft in an attempt to transition to zero-emission trucks by 2035 and zero emission terminal equipment by 2030.
Its critics say that Proposition 13, which restricts taxes to 1 percent of property values and caps increases in those values at 2 percent a year, has starved schools and local governments of vital revenue. However, the latest data on homes, farms and commercial and industrial property, compiled by county property assessors, tell a much different story. Assessors completed their 2017-18 rolls of taxable property this month and are reporting about a 5 percent statewide gain to approximately $5.75 trillion – yes, that’s trillion with a “t” – in taxable value. That huge figure will translate into at least $65 billion in property taxes, including levies to repay bonds, which are exempt from the 1 percent limit. . . .The most eye-popping number, however, is the immense growth in property tax revenue – well over 50 percent during the last decade alone and about 1,000 percent since 1978, when Proposition 13 was overwhelmingly passed by voters. The Legislature’s budget analyst, Mac Taylor, points out that “the property tax has grown faster than the economy” since then.
Wage gains have fallen far behind skyrocketing costs for housing, a gap that’s emerged despite a robust job market in recent years, according to an unsettling report released Monday. The housing-wage gap highlighted by the report from the Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies suggests that it is becoming increasingly difficult for residents in the Bay Area to keep up with the cost of owning or renting a home. Over the five years that ended in 2016, wages in the Santa Clara County, San Mateo County and San Francisco areas have risen by an average of 2.8 percent a year. Over the same stretch, the cost of rental housing has jumped by an average of roughly 9 percent annually, the report by the Silicon Valley Institute stated. In aggregate, from 2011 to 2016, the median wage in the three counties rose 14 percent, while the median apartment rent rose by a cumulative 45.2 percent, reported the regional institute, a unit of Joint Venture Silicon Valley.