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Posts Tagged ‘Economy’

If you have a hard time finding economic indicators on cities or counties of the East Bay, then this is the place where to look.  Since October 2010, Beacon Ecopnomics has been providing quarterly economic forecasts and updates on the East Bay.

These forecasts on the East Bay and California are presented by the East Bay Economic Development Alliance with the assistance of Beacon Economics. The reports are found at the East Bay EDA website.

 

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Special Report Released

Over 300 people attended the event releasing Building on Our Assets: Economic Development & Job Creation in the East Bay.  This special report is the culmination of an extensive examination of the dynamics of the East Bay economy in order to provide a basis for identifying the region’s opportunities and challenges for future growth. The project team conducted an in-depth analysis of employment, business, workforce, infrastructure, and land use characteristics, augmented with interviews with business executives. (http://eastbayeda.org/research_facts_figures/building_on_our_assets_2011_Report.htm)

 Join a special workshop to promote cross-sector collaboration to improve the business climate, strengthen innovation clusters, enhance education and workforce training, and upgrade infrastructure and land use.  This Strategic Planning Workshop (http://eastbayeda.org/east_bay_economic_development_alliance/Events/BuildingOnOurAssets12-5-11.html) is scheduled for:

 Monday, December 5, from 8 am – 12 pm

Crowne Plaza Concord/Walnut Creek, 45 John Glenn Drive, Concord

 Click here (http://eastbayeda.eventbrite.com/) for more information and to register.

 A hardcopy of this report will available soon at the Fremont Main Library. Ask at the Reference Desk.

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Each quarter the East Bay Economic Development Alliance provides an economic scoreboard of the East Bay and the California economy. Here is an executive summary of the findings. Links to the full reports are provided at the end of the summary.

 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 EMPLOYMENT

Contrary to proclamations in the popular press, the economic recovery in the U.S., California, and the East Bay continues to gain steam. Although nonfarm employment has posted only modest gains in the third quarter of 2011, the household survey shows that the labor force is expanding and that more residents are finding work. Unemployment rate remains high, but the East Bay is down to its lowest level in over two years. San Francisco and the South Bay continue to lead California’s labor market recovery. Given the commute patterns and reductions in local unemployment, East Bay residents have certainly been taking advantage of that. Several sectors continue to struggle to turn the corner. Most of them are not surprising, such as government and construction, while others like financial activities are less intuitive until you scratch the surface. Overall, the picture is improving. By mid-2012, Beacon Economics is forecasting that the unemployment rate is expected to fall into the single-digits, but it will take time to recover–remaining above 8% until mid-2015. By late 2013, the East Bay will move past the 1 million job mark, though it won’t get back to previous peaks until 2015/16.

 CLEAN-TECH

Solyndra’s recent bankruptcy has created much consternation in the media due to the help it received from the federal government. This has led many to raise questions about the viability of clean-tech in the United States. We find that these concerns are largely unfounded and that the performance of one particular firm is not indicative of a sector that is on its way out. In the East Bay in particular, the data shows that clean-tech is gaining steam. Even with respect to solar, the future is bright. The East Bay has attracted a disproportional share of solar investments and some of its larger companies are growing in the region.

CONSUMERS

Consumer spending in the East Bay has bounced back nicely since the end of the recession–growing by more than 13% from trough. Yet, this has not fueled the type of retail employment boost that is traditionally associated with rising consumer spending. There are two main culprits behind this phenomenon. The first is rising efficiency and worker productivity: employers have simply learned to do more with less during the downturn and we see that the amount of sales generated per worker up significantly since 2005. In addition, uncertainty about both the pace of the recovery and if/how Washington will choose to address our longer-term deficit and debt issues has caused employers to be timid in their hiring on the consumer-side.

THE PORT

The Port of Oakland continues to be the leading bright spot in the East Bay economy. Continued real depreciation of the U.S. Dollar has kept American exports in high demand. The strong growth from 2010 has continued into 2011, which has created a sizeable number of new positions in the wholesale trade and transportation/warehousing industries.

 HOUSING

Housing in the region is actually healthier now than it has been in many years. Neither the East Bay nor the state overall has yet to see much growth in terms of home prices, but affordability is at an all-time high. Additionally, defaults continue their downward trend signaling that the worst is behind us.

For the full report, please go to the EDA website at http:// www.eastbayeda.org

   Economic Outlook, October 2011 (full report)

  East Bay Economy, October 2011

  California Economy, October 2011

  United States Economy, October 2011

 

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I was browsing through California Counts, a publication by the California Public Policy Institute and found a publication I wish to share with those who need an understanding of where we are in California, how we got here, and where we are going.

California 2025: Planning for a Better Future
Louise Bedsworth, Tracy Gordon, Ellen Hanak, Hans Johnson, Jed Kolko, Eric Larsen, and Margaret Weston.  January 2011

California’s current economic and fiscal realities make nonpartisan, objective information on the state’s future challenges all the more critical. Understandably, the search is on for immediate solutions to the unprecedented crises we face today. But if the present crises make policymakers shelve long-term planning, the result may be an even more uncertain future for our state.

This briefing kit highlights California’s most pressing long-term policy challenges in eight key areas:

We gratefully acknowledge the support of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation as part of the California 2025 project on the state’s future challenges and opportunities.

 Here is the full report:

 california 2025

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This video is originally from the NBC Nightly News, reporting on how libraries are becoming even more popular during the economic downturn. Makes sense to me.

Libraries Offer Free Relief from Tough Times:

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