Viewing blog posts written by Gino DiCaro


California energy policy impacts manufacturing jobs

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Sept. 4, 2014

This week, Chris Busch, the Director of Research at Energy Innovation: Policy and Technology LLC wrote a piece that appeared in both LiveScience and CaliforniaCarbon.info. Essentially the piece praised California's bold energy policies and claimed that our state's economy is flourishing because of them.  Of specific note was a chart that showed our employment growth and a timeline of a few of California's energy requirements. Those policies include the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, the 33 percent renewable power mandate, the state's carbon cap-and-trade system, and California's building energy performance standards.

The chart compared California's total employment growth since December 2009 to that of the United States. In aggregate numbers we are in fact outpacing the country. But what types of jobs are we growing? We know from a chart we did a few weeks ago that most of our growth is coming from sectors that pay less. This week we charted the same dates and numbers as Mr. Busch but added a percentage growth for California's manufacturing job growth vs. the U.S.

The results show a large deficiency in manufacturing in California.  At an average $77,000 salary and tremendous ripple effects in the economy, can we afford to ignore such a deficiency? What state revenues are we losing out on by not keeping pace with national manufacturing growth? California's energy policies drive some of the highest industrial electricity rates in the country. Those costs will discourage manufacturers from choosing to invest in California, especially those looking to invest, re-shore, or scale up somewhere in the U.S.

Before concluding that California energy policies do not hurt jobs, we suggest that Mr. Busch and others account for the quality, as well as the quantity, of jobs we are losing and gaining in the state.

 

Chris Busch's chart 

Carbon Info chart on jobs

 

CMTA's chart with manufacturing:

CHART - US jobs and mfg vs CA jobs and mfg

 

* We used the same data source as Mr. Busch but we didn't include government in our total employment numbers, which might be why our percentages for "private sector" jobs are higher than their "total employment".





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Flexible work schedules and healthcare costs drive Wonder Bread from California

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Aug. 28, 2007

The LA Times reported this morning that the makers of Wonder Bread -- Interstate Bakeries Corp. -- are closing their southern California facilities and leaving 1,300 jobless in the region.  The reason?  Healthcare costs, laws prohibiting flexible work schedules and lack of clarity in meal and rest period mandates.  These challenges are difficult hurdles for all California businesses to overcome and remain competitive.  Without remedy, these issues will continue the state's loss of more than 400,000 manufacturing jobs since January 2001.

On Healthcare
As the Legislature proceeds with the healthcare debate, they must understand that the current system is too costly and burdensome on everyone, regardless of who's paying.  Manufacturers in California pay operational costs that are 22 percent higher than the rest of the country and still they provide more health coverage than any other industry in the State. Further, small and medium sized businesses can't do the same thing.  They can't take on expensive coverage and they can't pay a new health tax on top of their already uncompetitive overall costs. 

A reformed health system in California should first address cost drivers -- such as over utilization and lack of prevention -- or it will devastate the insurance market, force more businesses owners and managers, such as the Wonder Bread executives, to re-think their position in California and put at risk both jobs and the premium benefits that many employees now depend upon. 

On flexible work schedules and meal periods

Employers and employees face challenges within the existing work schedule and meal and rest peiod laws.   Today’s workers look for options in structuring their time and contributing to the viability of their employer’s business while maximizing their earnings.  CMTA will be submitting comments later this week  to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement on the growing problem of when and how long a rest period is taken.  Stay tuned ....



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