Viewing blog posts written by Ashley Hong

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

Posted by Ashley Hong, Policy Intern 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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Let’s get to the bottom of this 500,000 green jobs number

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Aug. 27, 2016

Growing green jobs is a reason state leaders cite to support ambitious climate change policies.  The policies will spark technological innovations and entrepreneurship to create new industries and jobs but they often say nothing about the losses that may be suffered by consumers and other businesses. 

Senate Pro Tem Kevin deLeon said the following after SB 32 and AB 197 passed this week to set a new climate change target for 2030: 

"We have empirical evidence that's very clear that we have created 500,000 brand new jobs in the clean energy space ... This is not about reducing carbon in the abstract. This is about economic growth. That’s why we are the 6th largest economy in the world. There is rhyme and reason why we have this legislation – its because it leads to job growth."

The California Center for Jobs & The Economy has this to say about green job creation in California. Some highlights:   

  • The “500,000 new jobs” claim has been voiced since 2011, casting serious doubt on the validity of the number.
  • Next 10 identified only 180,0000 green jobs in their 2014 report and has since even reduced that number.
  • A report by Advanced Energy Economy Institute, a primary report used by many advocates, claims 142,000 advanced electricity generation jobs. But EDD data (the government’s gold standard for job tracking) says California has only 18,900 jobs total in the entire sector of "Electric Power Generation, Transportation & Distribution."

Most importantly, the “500,000 new clean energy jobs” claim does not account for jobs lost due to costs in other sectors such as manufacturing.  California’s 1.28 million high-wage manufacturing workers should be concerned that creating a phantom number of new green jobs at their expense is a measure of success for climate policies.

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Sensible climate policy can grow all CA jobs

Posted by Ashley Hong, Policy Intern 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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Lt. Gov.'s economic development plan is bold & broad -- now make every job count with action

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on July 29, 2011

Today Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom released a California economic development and job growth plan as his first major policy move since he was elected.

Congratulations are in order for Newsom and his report. He is showing he is serious about growing our job base by making the state attractive to manufacturing and other high wage sectors.

California's economy needs large scale job creation in every sector.  Our state must catch up and once again outpace the country's economic growth. This will require aggressive action not seen in California for over a decade. It will also depend on developing the state's existing job base and employers as a means to California's expansion. In the past, Newsom has said many times, that "95 percent of growth is organic," meaning it's easier to grow an existing California company than start a new one.  We could not agree more.

For the past few years, economic development in California has comprised of picking and providing for one winning sector, but consequentially leaving many other losers, often times existing industries, such as manufacturing and other sectors. Every job should count in California.

While the politically challenged task of growing the state's economy is immense, the essentials that any employer needs for growth are simple: predictable costs, competitive costs, adequate infrastructure, access to skilled workers and regulatory certainty.

The California manufacturing community -- and it's 1.2 million strong job base -- is anxious to work with Lt. Gov. Newsom and Governor Brown to restart California's economic engine.


Download Newsom's Economic Growth and Competitiveness Report

Download CMTA's vision document

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California should lead in all jobs, not just two percent of them

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on July 19, 2011

During a recent California Energy Commission proceeding on our clean energy goals, it was recommended that job creation be included as a metric for measuring the success of clean energy policies. This will only be meaningful if we count all the jobs that will be lost as a result of a policy. Therefore our job creation goal, and the metric to measure it, should only count net new jobs.

This prompted us to look at the Brookings Institution's recently released report on green jobs -- Sizing the Clean Economy. The report stated that California leads the country in the "green" sector, boasting 332,000 jobs.  To put things in perspective, that number accounts for only two percent of the state's entire job base and about one job for every 115 people. Further it doesn't make up for the state's overall jobs loss, nor does it make up for the state's high wage job losses.

Green job definitions vary widely, depending on who sets the criteria.  For instance, the Brookings report maintains that public mass transit operators are in fact "green".  Even with the broadest definitions, the green economy on its own will not catapult California into its next great economic boom.  The emerging green sector is an important part of California’s overall economy, but will only grow and succeed if California’s investment climate is competitive with other states and nations.

California can’t count on large scale job growth without a predictable and competitive environment for a diverse range of investors and employers.   "Green" mandates and subsidies increase costs and force reduced output on existing employers, making other parts of our economy inefficient and less competitive.  That's a tough pill for existing employer groups to swallow when the goal of their sacrifice is to force feed a two percent sector of the workforce that can’t survive without ongoing incentives and subsidies.

We compared some of California's high wage sector employment statistics to the new green jobs numbers.  Basically we found that our green jobs do not net out our losses.  Here's how the numbers broke down (Click image for larger pdf):


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