Viewing blog posts written by Dorothy Rothrock

Let's count the loss of Ashley Furniture's green jobs

Posted by Dorothy Rothrock, President on Aug. 31, 2016

Last week we learned that Ashley Furniture will be shifting production out of California in favor of their other locations in the US.  While you won't hear them labeled as such, the 840 jobs lost are part of our "green" economy.  The Colton California location uses electricity fueled by mostly low-carbon renewables, nuclear, hydro and natural gas resources.  Workers drive cars to and from work with gasoline blended with renewable fuel and pay about 11 cents per gallon in cap and trade taxes that lawmakers say is necessary to reach our state climate change goals.  

Ashley Furniture locations in North Carolina, Wisconsin and Mississippi do not have the same strict climate change regulations as California.  Any jobs that will be created there to offset the loss in California will not be green.  An honest accounting would subtract the 840 Ashley Furniture green jobs against the 500,000 green jobs that state leaders claim have been created in the state. 

That would be a good start to determine how effective our clean economy policies really are.   

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Manufacturing wage growth fuels many middle class families

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on April 17, 2015

Today we learned that California gained 4,300 manufacturing jobs in March. We all understand that this sector's growth means more opportunities for our working middle class, the retention of critical technology and innovation, and tremendoous ripple effects in our economy. 

California must keep up the fight to retain and attract manufacturing.

This week we looked at sector wage growth adjusted for inflation since 1990. California manufacturing wages have not only kept up with the average increase with 39 percent growth but it is the second highest among California's five largest sectors.




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Sensible climate policy can grow all CA jobs

Posted by Dorothy Rothrock, President on Feb. 19, 2015

California leaders hope that our climate policies will grow the green economy.  We hope they are right.  But even if green jobs grow, we’ve got to be careful that mandates to reduce fossil fuel use don’t hurt even more jobs in the rest of the economy. 
The California Center for Jobs and the Economy released a new report that puts this into perspective.  No matter who is measuring green jobs, they amount to no more than 2 percent of total jobs in the California economy.   Even a high green jobs growth rate won’t add enough jobs to power our economy.  On the flip side, raising energy rates will increase pressure on manufacturers who employ more than 10 percent of California workers.  They already pay nearly 80 percent higher rates than the national average for electricity.  We need to count manufacturing and other jobs at-risk from higher energy prices to provide a full account of the jobs impact of climate policies.  We should also make sure that energy-efficient manufacturing jobs count as “green” when they are lost, or gained, by state policies.  CMTA will be advocating for sensible climate policies to keep the entire economy on track. 
IMAGE -- Green jobs vs Overall jobs

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CA manufacturing GDP trend

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Feb. 12, 2015

A quick look at California's manufacturing gross product trend vs. the United States since 2000.


CHART - MFG GDP trend since 2000 U.S. vs CA

click image for pdf

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California's MFG is big but growth is small

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Feb. 5, 2015

Last week Dan Walters wrote a piece depicting the enormity of California's manufacturing sector, using a recent 2012 Census Bureau report, which prompted tweets like the following:
GO-Biz (@CAGoBiz) 1/27/15, 14:54 FACT: California has twice as many manufacturing firms as the next closest state, TX. @sacbee
Stockton Buzz (@stocktonbuzz) California leads U.S. in manufacturing jobs… #stockton #lodi #los angeles #jobs #manufacturing census via @cvbtnews
California is the most populous state in the country. The fact that we have the most manufacturing is not a surprise. The fact that we aren't growing as fast as the rest of the country is a surprise and a problem.
We are still hovering around one percent manufacturing job growth since the recession, while the rest of the U.S. is close to 7 percent growth. In 2013, we had only 1.5 percent of the country's manufacturing investments. With a state that has about 11 percent of the U.S. population, we must attract more manufacturing.
If we want to be a model for the rest of the country we need a growing number of innovative and energy efficient manufacturers to scale up in California and create middle class jobs. At the very least, we need to attract manufacturing at the same rate as the rest of the country.  It's not just Texas either. States like Indiana grew their manufacturing job base by 19 percent since the recession.
Things have improved no doubt. The Go-BIZ team recently touted 56 new investments (many of whom are manufacturers) as a result of Governor Brown's "California Competes" incentives. We've also seen an uptick in overall manufacturing investments in 2014. We won't know the final numbers for another month, which we will publish here, but California appears to be moving in the right direction. However there is so much work to do to catch up to the rest of the country.
Walters and others are correct to tout our state's large manufacturing industry but our manufacturing size does not equate to the rest of the country's recent growth. With wage inequality growing in California, it is even more important that California re-doubles its efforts to help manufacturers compete and invest and grow the largest manufacturing state in the country.

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