Economy

California Continuing to Fall Behind In Job Recovery

Written by Nathaniel Mannor

With the Covid-19 pandemic ending, people are finally returning to a sense of normalcy. They are attending significant social events, traveling abroad, and most importantly heading back to work to bolster the economy again. That may be true for the rest of America, but certainly not in California.

California still has the highest unemployment rate in the country. With the first case of the omicron variant in San Francisco, Golden State residents are hesitant to live their everyday lives. So CalMatters and the Milken Institute held a conference to determine why we’re still falling behind and came to three conclusions.

The first change these institutions noted is how the pandemic forever changed the economy. For example, employers developed a greater sense of well-being for their workers’ physical and mental health needs and better adjusted to shortages of various goods. And because of the lockdowns, we saw a switch from in-person to remote work for all jobs except essential workers. 

With the vaccine rollout, you’d expect people to return to their jobs, but the harsh reality is most people don’t want to go back. This is because of the dictator-in-chief of California’s strategy of paying people to stay at home in hopes of lengthening the pandemic. Why? Because Newsom knows the Democrats will likely lose Congress in 2022 and other local offices as Republicans have painted themselves as the party of freedom (which we are).

On a more optimistic note, the second factor illustrates that while COVID ushered in the worst recession since the Great Depression, the economy quickly bounced back. Somajita Mitra, Chief Economist for California’s Department of Finance, said that “The fact that people are quitting and trying to find better employment, or start their own businesses, or move — there’s a lot of optimism that people have in terms of the recovery.”

That may seem like great news, but the third conclusion highlights the real victims of this recession, small businesses. Mom and Pop shops closed their doors since they relied on consumerism to stay afloat, and without customers during the lockdowns, they sank under. Many small businesses in rural communities were not only hurt by the pandemic, but also by fires that ravaged through many areas of Northern California, particularly Lake Tahoe which is heavily reliant on tourism. So if we care about local businesses that strengthen the economy, we need to let the Democrats know that the days of locking us in our homes and putting lower-class Americans out of business is over.

Photo Cred: Fox 26