Trevor McNeil and Sarah Montoya, both 35, would love to buy a home in San Francisco, but like many young couples, they make too much money to qualify for a below-market-rate unit and too little to afford a market-rate one.
So for now, they are stuck in their one-bedroom, third-floor walk-up apartment in the Sunset District, with twin boys who were born in January and a 2-year old girl. When one is crying, it’s hard to get the others to sleep, but the hardest part is taking the kids out. Their landlady won’t allow strollers in the lobby, so they have to lug a double and a single up and down two flights of stairs or put their daughter on a leash — something Montoya thought she’d never do.
Housing is expensive for everyone in the Bay Area, but it’s especially challenging for middle-income buyers. Most new supply is at the high or low end. The gap in between is often called “the missing middle.”
Charles Schwab is emblematic. Since announcing its relocation strategy in early 2013, the company has shrunk its San Francisco headquarters to fewer than 1,300 people, a 45% decrease. Its 47-acre campus south of Denver is now Schwab’s largest office, employing almost 4,000 people. An expanded office in Austin, Texas, will be completed next year, and construction is under way on a new location near Dallas.
. . . While the finance industry has been relocating entry-level jobs since the late 1980s, today’s moves are claiming higher-paid jobs in human resources, compliance and asset management, chipping away at New York City’s middle class, said Kathryn Wylde, president and chief executive of the Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit that represents the city’s business leadership.
California’s slowing economic expansion was evident in August as the state lost 8,200 net jobs and the unemployment rate rose to 5.1%, from 4.8% a month earlier, according to data released Friday from the state’s Employment Development Department. The drop in employment follows a robust July in which the Golden State gained the most jobs in more than a year: 84,500, revised up from a previous estimate of 82,600. August’s slide back was in large part driven by employers in the leisure and hospitality sector: They cut 12,400 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis — the largest decrease by any sector in the state. Professional and business services and the public sector also lost jobs. Manufacturing and the trade, transportation and utilities sector, meanwhile, gained jobs.
A labor dispute over the classification of truck drivers who shuttle goods to and from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has caused at least one local company to lose a Fortune 500 client.
Carson-based Pacific 9 Transportation Inc. no longer counts Costco Wholesale Corp. as a customer as of late August. Alan Ta, chief operating officer of Pacific 9, declined to give specifics but confirmed that Costco is no longer a client.
So, yes, California remains a capital for innovation, but only until all the union work rules crush that one bright spot in the economy. Meanwhile, the rest of the state is becoming something of an innovation-free zone, given lawmakers’ ongoing efforts to saddle businesses with bone-crushing regulations and tax rates. If Brown really believes in innovation, he ought to worry less about federal funding and more about the way his union allies mess with the Golden State’s economy.