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East Bay Loses 4,000 Jobs In December

Number of jobs takes an unexpected tumble even though the local unemployment rate dropped

The East Bay unexpectedly shed 4,000 jobs in December, a month that traditionally sees an increase in employment opportunities.

The job loss was in contrast to the region's unemployment rate, which showed slight declines in both Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

The jobless rate measures employment among people who live in these communities. It counts people who are willing and available for work. Those who have given up searching are not included.

The number of jobs represents what's available in businesses in the region. Some employees come in from outside the area.

In December, the total number of jobs in the East Bay dropped from 959,000 the month before to 955,000.

Officials at the state Employment Development Department said over the past 21 years December has seen on average an increase of 3,400 jobs. Last month, therefore, was 7,400 jobs fewer than normal.

Leisure and hospitality took the biggest hit. That industry lost 2,000 jobs in a month it usually gains 400. Food and drink establishments showed the biggest declines.

Professional and business services shed 1,300 jobs in a month it usually gains 1,100.

Government services had 1,100 fewer jobs, close to the average for December. Manufacturing lost 100 jobs.

Construction was one of the few bright spots. After losing 800 jobs in November, the industry added 400 in December.

Education and health fields saw an increase of 400 jobs while financial services and trade and utilities both saw bumps of 100 jobs.

Cindy Sugrue, a labor market consultant for the state EDD, said it's uncertain why December lost so many jobs. She said the shaky economy is the most likely cause.

"I think it shows there still some struggles out there," she said.

The East Bay's unemployment rate did drop from 9.5 percent in November to 9.3 percent in December. The rate was 10.8 percent in December 2010.

Both Alameda and Contra Contra counties had rates of 9.3 percent. In November, Contra Costa had a 9.5 percent jobless rate while Alameda County recorded a 9.6 percent rate.

The various communities in Alameda County saw their rates drop anywhere from one-tenth to three-tenths of a point.

Castro Valley recorded a 5.5 percent jobless rate while Union City and Newark both posted 8.7 percent.

San Lorenzo listed a 6.9 percent rate while San Leandro dipped to 9.2 percent. The neighboring community of Cherryland saw its rate fall to 13.5 percent.

In the Tri-Valley, Dublin recorded a 5.6 percent rate, Pleasanton had 4.7 percent and Livermore came in at 6.1 percent.

In Contra Costa counties, communities showed either the same rate or a drop of one-tenth to two-tenths of a point.

Concord's rate was listed at 10.1 percent while Clayton recorded 2.3 percent. Neighboring Walnut Creek had a 6.3 percent rate.

In the San Ramon Valley, Danville posted a 4.9 percent rate, Alamo had 3.5 percent and San Ramon had 3.9 percent.

In Lamorinda, Lafayette stood at 3.4 percent, Moraga at 5.6 percent and Orinda at 3.5 percent.

Martinez recorded a 7.5 percent rate while Hercules came in at 6.7 percent.

California's unemployment rate was 10.9 percent in December. Nationwide, the rate was 8.3 percent.

David Ross January 24, 2012 at 05:54 AM
My original posting on this was from what I perceived to be the advantages of Amazon from their point of view. From a customer point of view, I shop at Amazon for many items because of 4 C's: - convenience: I can research, see user reviews, and compare prices all in one place. - cheaper: It's not only the lack of sales tax that makes items cheaper at Amazon. It's not uncommon for an item I want to be cheaper at Amazon than even Wal-Mart. And not everything on Amazon is currently tax-free. Some items from 3rd party vendors are taxed. - customer care: Amazon has great customer care. Returning items, even items order by mistake, is an easy process and they pay for the return shipping. (For full disclosure, I have found locally owned small businesses with great customer care but those seem to be far and few in between.) Paisley: OSH has tax free days but the tax is still paid. If memory serves, the last time I heard an OSH tax free day ad the wording was something along the lines of "OSH pays the sales tax."
a local citizen January 24, 2012 at 06:01 AM
Paisley, It looks like you really don't know how a brick and mortar retailer works. Even if a retailer uses a sales tactic like OSH does, "We will pay the sales tax", they do. They do not charge the customer sales tax, however they are required to pay what sales tax they would have collected on those items sold, to the State Board of Equalization. You need to check things out before you write comments.
Gary Adams January 24, 2012 at 06:18 AM
Tim, do your homework. Yes, there would hav been jobs building/maintaining the pipeline, but that oil was already earmarked for sale to China. You need to realize that all petroleum goes on the world market; it's always sold to the highest bidder. In this case, China won the contract.
Tim January 24, 2012 at 06:31 AM
You need to do your homework Gary. Yes, it's a global market but the infrastructure plays a big role in the ability to deliver that oil. Canada is going to sell that oil to China not because they are offering a lower bid but because they are tired of waiting for us. As a previous person noted, this project has been in the works since Bush was president. It wasn't approved sooner because it had to go through the environmental review process, which it already has. Obama is just catering to his far left wing fringe environmental nut jobs and made a deal with the unions (who wanted the project) to keep them quiet and the campaign contributions coming in. Well, congratulations because once gasoline hits $5 a gallon this summer, it won't matter how much Obama spends on his campaign, he's finished.
Paisley January 24, 2012 at 05:49 PM
My bad. I made a mistake.

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