California December Jobs Report

California December Jobs Report

Published: Jan. 24, 2018
  • Unemployment Rate Improves to 4.3%; Total Employment Gains 38,600

The Labor Force data for December 2017 (seasonally adjusted; California preliminary) is shown below, along with the change from the prior month:

Seasonally Adjusted California US
Dec 2017 Change from Nov 2017 Dec 2017 Change from Nov 2017
Unemployment Rate 4.3% -0.3 4.1% 0.0
Labor Force 19,386,300 0.0% 160,597,000 0.0%
Participation Rate 62.4% -0.1 62.7% 0.0
Employment 18,547,600 0.2% 154,021,000 0.1%
Unemployment 838,700 -5.2% 6,576,000 -0.6%
Source: California Employment Development Department; US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The related not seasonally adjusted numbers (California preliminary), with the change from December 2016:

Not Seasonally Adjusted California US
Dec 2017 Change from Dec 2016 Dec 2017 Change from Dec 2016
Unemployment Rate 4.2% -0.8 3.9% -0.6
Labor Force 19,286,500 1.0% 159,880,000 0.6%
Participation Rate 62.1% 0.1 62.4% 0.0
Employment 18,481,900 1.9% 153,602,000 1.2%
Unemployment 804,600 -15.9% 6,278,000 -12.4%
Source: California Employment Development Department; US Bureau of Labor Statistics

California Employment Development Department’s (EDD) latest data shows on a seasonally adjusted basis, total employment was up 38,600 from November, while the number of unemployed dropped by 46,200. The labor force essentially stayed level with a drop of 7,600.

California’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate improved to 4.3%, the lowest in the current data series that began in 1976. California had the 22nd highest unemployment rate among the states. The unadjusted rate from dropped from 5.0% in December 2016 to 4.2%.

Total US employment saw a seasonally adjusted gain of 104,000 from November, while the number of unemployed dropped by 40,000. The national unemployment rate was steady at 4.1%. The national labor force numbers rose by 64,000.

Labor Force Participation Rate Eases Down

California’s participation rate (seasonally adjusted) in December eased to 62.4%, while the US rate stayed at 62.7%.

State Employment Growth Rankings

Change in Employment, December 2016 – December 2017
Rank Number of Employed Percentage Change Population Adjusted
(employment growth per 1,000 civilian
noninstitutional population)
1 CA382,100 CO4.8% CO30.9
2 FL302,200 OR4.2% OR25.1
3 TX301,500 TN4.1% MN24.3
4 NY178,100 MN3.7% TN23.6
5 GA162,400 UT3.5% UT23.2
6 CO134,900 GA3.4% GA20.5
7 TN123,500 ID3.3% ID20.4
8 WA105,600 KY3.2% WI19.0
9 MN105,500 FL3.2% WA18.3
10 OH101,800 WA3.0% FL18.0
11 AZ92,100 AZ3.0% KY17.8
12 WI86,900 NV2.9% NV17.2
13 OR83,100 WI2.9% AZ17.0
14 NC63,500 TX2.4% TX14.3
15 KY61,700 LA2.3% LA12.5
16 VA57,500 AL2.2% CA12.4
17 UT51,500 AR2.1% OK12.1
18 MD50,600 CA2.1% AL11.8
19 MA45,500 OK2.1% AR11.8
20 AL45,300 NY2.0% NY11.2
21 LA45,100 OH1.9% OH11.1
22 MI40,200 MD1.7% MD10.7
23 NV39,900 NM1.6% DC9.9
24 OK36,400 ME1.5% ME9.4
25 SC27,700 DC1.5% VA8.8
26 AR27,400 VA1.4% NM8.4
27 IL27,200 NC1.4% MA8.2
28 ID26,200 RI1.3% RI8.2
29 KS16,700 MA1.3% NC8.0
30 NM13,500 SC1.3% KS7.5
31 IN13,400 KS1.2% SC7.1
32 CT10,400 DE0.9% DE5.3
33 ME10,300 MI0.9% MI5.1
34 RI7,000 SD0.6% SD4.2
35 DC5,600 CT0.6% CT3.6
36 DE4,000 VT0.5% VT3.3
37 NE4,000 IL0.4% NE2.7
38 IA3,200 IN0.4% IL2.7
39 SD2,800 NE0.4% IN2.6
40 WV2,500 WV0.3% WV1.7
US1,788,000 US1.2% US7.0
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Seasonally Adjusted

Between December 2016 and December 2017, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows the total number of employed in California increased by 382,100 (seasonally adjusted), or 21.4% of the total net employment gains in this period for the US. Based on the total numbers, California remained in 1st place ahead of Florida (which has a civilian working age population only 55% as large as California’s) at 302,200 and Texas (69% as large) at 301,500. Measured by percentage change in employment over the year, California improved to 18th highest. Adjusted for working age population, California rose to 16th.

Nonfarm Jobs Up 52,700

EDD reported that between November and December 2017, seasonally adjusted nonfarm wage and salary jobs grew 52,700. November’s gains were revised to 53,700 from the previously reported 47,400.

In the not seasonally adjusted nonfarm numbers overall, hiring saw increases in all but 4 industries over the year. The change in total payroll jobs from December 2016 saw the largest increases in Construction (60,000), Government (46,100), and Food Services (42,900). Declines included Manufacturing (-2,800), Retail Trade (-1,400), and Mining & Logging (-800).

Not Seasonally Adjusted Payroll Jobs Dec 2017 Nov 2017 Change Dec 2017 – Nov 2017 Change Dec 2017 – Dec 2016
Total Farm 364,900 402,800 -37,900 2,800
Mining and Logging 22,300 23,100 -800 -800
Construction 834,200 839,400 -5,200 60,000
Manufacturing 1,295,600 1,294,400 1,200 -2,800
Wholesale Trade 741,400 741,700 -300 8,400
Retail Trade 1,775,500 1,767,700 7,800 -1,400
Utilities 58,100 58,200 -100 -300
Transportation & Warehousing 567,700 559,300 8,400 14,200
Information 546,600 540,800 5,800 21,700
Finance & Insurance 557,100 550,700 6,400 5,900
Real Estate & Rental & Leasing 288,300 286,900 1,400 4,700
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services 1,238,800 1,238,200 600 4,200
Management of Companies & Enterprises 233,500 231,900 1,600 5,300
Administrative & Support & Waste Services 1,114,100 1,109,800 4,300 17,200
Educational Services 384,000 389,300 -5,300 16,500
Health Care 1,508,600 1,500,100 8,500 26,700
Social Assistance 776,000 775,100 900 40,500
Arts, Entertainment & Recreation 316,500 307,900 8,600 15,000
Accommodation 224,800 225,700 -900 2,500
Food Services 1,433,800 1,428,900 4,900 42,900
Other Services 579,500 582,900 -3,400 18,200
Government 2,611,800 2,621,800 -10,000 46,100
Total Nonfarm 17,108,200 17,073,800 34,400 344,700
Total Wage and Salary 17,473,100 17,476,600 -3,500 347,500
Source: California Employment Development Department

At 342,500, California showed the highest increase in seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs among the states from December 2016 to December 2017, ahead of Texas at 306,900. By percentage growth in jobs, California rose to 9th highest at 2.1%, above the US average of 1.4%. By population adjusted jobs growth, California rose to 13th highest.

Change in Nonfarm Jobs (seasonally adjusted), December 2016 – December 2017
Rank Number of Jobs Employment Growth (%) Population Adjusted
(job growth per 1,000 civilian
noninstitutional population)
1 CA342,500 NV3.3% NV18.9
2 TX306,900 OR2.7% UT17.0
3 FL213,500 UT2.6% OR14.9
4 NY98,300 TX2.5% TX14.6
5 GA83,200 FL2.5% DC14.2
6 PA78,400 SC2.2% FL12.7
7 NC75,000 WA2.1% CO12.2
8 WA68,500 ID2.1% SC11.9
9 MA63,000 CA2.1% WA11.9
10 MI57,100 CO2.0% IA11.5
11 CO53,200 GA1.9% ID11.4
12 OR49,300 IA1.8% MA11.4
13 SC46,500 MT1.8% CA11.1
14 NV43,800 MA1.8% GA10.5
15 WI40,200 AL1.7% MT10.0
16 OH38,500 NC1.7% NC9.4
17 UT37,900 MS1.6% AL8.9
18 MN37,300 WI1.4% WI8.8
19 AZ35,000 PA1.3% MN8.6
20 AL34,100 MI1.3% MS7.8
21 MD31,400 AZ1.3% PA7.7
22 VA30,200 MN1.3% NE7.5
23 IL29,600 NM1.2% MI7.2
24 TN28,700 OK1.2% RI7.0
25 IA28,300 RI1.2% OK6.8
26 IN27,600 MD1.1% MD6.6
27 NJ22,900 HI1.1% HI6.6
28 MO22,800 KY1.1% AZ6.5
29 KY21,200 NE1.1% NM6.5
30 OK20,400 NY1.0% NY6.2
31 MS17,800 DC1.0% KY6.1
32 ID14,700 TN1.0% SD6.1
33 AR11,300 SD0.9% TN5.5
US2,055,000 US1.4% US8.1
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Six Industries Below 2007 Pre-Recession Job Levels

Source: California Employment Development Department, not seasonally adjusted; wages are running 4 quarter average from QCEW wage data

Comparing the number of jobs by industry in December 2017 (not seasonally adjusted), six industries had employment below the 2007 pre-recession levels. The highest gain industries were led by lower wage Food Services, Health Care (with a relatively higher mix of lower and higher wage occupations), lower wage Social Assistance, and higher wage Professional, Scientific & Technical Services. Of the lagging industries, three—Manufacturing, Mining & Logging, and Construction—are blue collar middle class wage industries, while the higher wage Finance & Insurance also remained in the minus column. Construction losses, however, have begun to contract.

Job Gains by Wage Level

The following chart illustrates the trend for total wage and salary jobs by general wage level, according to the industry wage classification used previously in other Center analyses of this issue. As indicated, about one-third of net jobs growth since the recession has been in the low wage industries, while the stronger showing for Construction shows stronger gains in this period for blue collar middle class jobs. Construction, however, was stronger primarily due to dry conditions in December 2017 compared to near normal precipitation levels in December 2007.

Source: Analysis of California Employment Development Department data, not seasonally adjusted

Two-Tier Economy Persists—Central Valley Unemployment More than Twice as High as Bay Area

While unemployment rates have improved in the interior counties as a result of seasonal employment, the level of unemployment rates (all data is not seasonally adjusted) continues to vary widely across the state, ranging from 2.8% in the Bay Area to more than twice as large at 8.1% in the Central Valley.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate (%) December 2017
California 4.2
Bay Area 2.8
Orange County 2.8
Sacramento 3.8
San Diego/Imperial 3.9
Inland Empire 4.1
Los Angeles 4.2
Central Sierra 4.4
Upstate California 5.9
Central Coast 6.5
Central Valley 8.1

By Legislative District:

Lowest 10 Unemployment Rates
CD18 (Eshoo-D) 2.2 SD13 (Hill-D) 2.0 AD22 (Mullin-D) 1.9
CD12 (Pelosi-D) 2.2 SD11 (Wiener-D) 2.4 AD16 (Baker-R) 2.0
CD52 (Peters-D) 2.4 SD39 (Atkins-D) 2.5 AD24 (Berman-D) 2.1
CD14 (Speier-D) 2.4 SD36 (Bates-R) 2.5 AD28 (Low-D) 2.2
CD45 (Walters-R) 2.5 SD37 (Moorlach-R) 2.6 AD17 (Chiu-D) 2.4
CD17 (Khanna-D) 2.5 SD10 (Wieckowski-D) 2.7 AD77 (Maienschein-R) 2.4
CD49 (Issa-R) 2.5 SD07 (Glazer-D) 2.8 AD73 (Brough-R) 2.4
CD15 (Swalwell-D) 2.6 SD15 (Beall-D) 2.8 AD78 (Gloria-D) 2.4
CD48 (Rohrabacher-R) 2.7 SD34 (Nguyen-R) 3.1 AD19 (Ting-D) 2.5
CD02 (Huffman-D) 3.0 SD26 (Allen-D) 3.2 AD25 (Chu-D) 2.5
Highest 10 Unemployment Rates
CD03 (Garamendi-D) 5.4 SD30 (Mitchell-D) 4.9 AD03 (Gallagher-R) 6.4
CD44 (Barragán-D) 5.8 SD17 (Monning-D) 5.0 AD34 (Fong-R) 6.7
CD09 (McNerney-D) 6.0 SD04 (Nielsen-R) 5.1 AD30 (Caballero-D) 6.8
CD10 (Denham-R) 6.3 SD35 (Bradford-D) 5.2 AD23 (Patterson-R) 7.0
CD23 (McCarthy-R) 7.3 SD05 (Galgiani-D) 6.4 AD13 (Eggman-D) 7.2
CD20 (Panetta-D) 7.7 SD08 (Berryhill-R) 6.4 AD21 (Gray-D) 8.9
CD22 (Nunes-R) 7.9 SD40 (Hueso-D) 7.1 AD56 (Garcia-D) 9.5
CD51 (Vargas-D) 8.3 SD16 (Fuller-R) 7.2 AD31 (Arambula-D) 9.6
CD16 (Costa-D) 9.2 SD12 (Cannella-R) 8.6 AD26 (Mathis-R) 9.8
CD21 (Valadao-R) 10.1 SD14 (Vidak-R) 11.0 AD32 (Salas-D) 10.4

Bay Area Provided 40% of Net Employment Growth Since Recession

Containing 19.4% of the state’s population, the Bay Area was responsible for 40.1% of the net growth in employment since the pre-recession peaks in 2007. Inland Empire provided the next largest share at 19.5%, but Los Angeles Region, containing 29.2% of the population, accounted for third at 19.0%. Inland Empire is the only other region continuing to show employment gains above their population share.

Seven California MSAs in the 10 Worst Unemployment Rates Nationally

According to BLS data, of the 10 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) with the worst unemployment rates nationally, 7 are in California. Of the 20 worst, 9 are in California.

Rank Metropolitan Area November 2017 Rate
367 Stockton-Lodi, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.2
370 Anchorage, AK Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.3
370 Fairbanks, AK Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.3
370 Las Cruces, NM Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.3
373 Farmington, NM Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.4
374 Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.5
374 Rocky Mount, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.5
376 Watertown-Fort Drum, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area 6.8
377 Madera, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.0
378 Vineland-Bridgeton, NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.1
378 Yuba City, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.1
380 Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.3
381 Bakersfield, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.4
382 Hanford-Corcoran, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.5
383 Fresno, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.6
384 Merced, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 7.8
385 Visalia-Porterville, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 8.9
386 Ocean City, NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area 12.1
387 Yuma, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area 15.6
388 El Centro, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 19.8

Next Updates

The agencies are going through their annual revisions to the labor force and jobs series. No releases are scheduled for February, with the January data set for release on March 2 (California) and March 12 (other states), and the February data on March 23 (California and other states). Revised labor force and industry employment and hours and earnings data will also be issued for prior years.

Note: All data sources, methodologies, and historical data series available at

381,600 SQFT Industrial Sale In Tracy Could Attract Record Price For New Industrial Project

Ridgeline Property Group, Central Valley, Tracy Pescadero Distribution Center, LaSalle Investment Management, Tracy Pescadero Distribution Center, Prologis, DCT Industrial Trust, DHL Supply Chain entity,
Rendering courtesy of Ridgeline Property Group

By Jon Peterson

Atlanta-based Ridgeline Property Group could attract a record price on a per square foot and cap rate basis for brand new industrial product in the Central Valley for its planned sale of the Class A, 381,600 square foot Tracy Pescadero Distribution Center in Tracy, according to sources that track the sale of industrial assets in the region.

Ridgeline and its capital source, Chicago-based LaSalle Investment Management, had developed the property together, which was completed in 2017. The 19.46-acre site is less than one mile from Interstate 205, an east-west route connecting to Oakland and San Francisco, and it provides easy access to the regional transportation corridors serving the major markets of the Western U.S., according the company’s statement.

“Tracy, California, is the best distribution location in the Central Valley, and the Tracy Pescadero Distribution Center will provide much-needed Class A space for modern distribution operations,” said Greg Thurman, CEO of Ridgeline Property Group in July of 2015, when the company announced that it was commencing construction of the speculative development. “There is virtually no availability of Class A space greater than 200,000 square feet in the Central Valley. In addition to providing bulk space, this 381,600-square-foot facility will offer the option of either a rear-load or front-load configuration, depending on the needs of the tenant. The flexible design also enables the building to be divided into three separate spaces with front offices.”

The sellers are bringing the asset to market for sale on Monday, and they have hired CBRE as the listing agents on the sale. Two people involved are Darla Longo, vice chairman/managing director and Rebecca Perlmutter, senior vice president. CBRE declined to comment when contacted for this story.

Its rare for new industrial product in Tracy to come up for sale so soon after the property was developed. Most property owners in Tracy are major institutional owners. Two such examples would be Prologis and DCT Industrial Trust. These companies and others are more interested in holding on to their assets for a long period of time.

The Pescadero Center is a single building property. The asset is now 100 percent leased to Excel, which is a DHL Supply Chain entity, and Pactra USA. Both of these companies are considered to be high-credit tenants. The average lease term on these two tenants is 5.6 years.

This investment opportunity offers strong cash flow with significant upside to rents given the steady demand and lack of available inventory driving future rent growth. In-place rents are approximately 5 percent below market, offering the new owner future NOI increases upon lease rollover.

Located at 1700 East Pescadero Avenue, the distribution facility features 32-foot clear heights, 57 dock-high doors, two drive-in doors, a 185-foot truck court, 92 trailer parking spaces, 317 auto parking spaces and Early Suppression Fast Response (ESFR) fire sprinklers. The asset also has an office component inside the property, which is 9,470 square feet, or approximately 2.5 percent of the total building.

The overall 95 million square foot industrial market in the Central Valley remains very strong. The region recorded its 19th consecutive quarter of positive absorption with 2.8 million square feet of net absorption year-to-date bringing the vacancy rate down to 2.2 percent at the end of the third quarter.

The Tracy industrial market has also shown strong operating fundamentals. At the end of 2017, Tracy’s average asking lease rate of $0.45 triple-net had increased 15 percent over the past two years.

Ridgeline is known in the industrial sector as a merchant developer. The company does have a regional office located in Northern California in Roseville.

381,600 SQFT Industrial Sale In Tracy Could Attract Record Price For New Industrial Project

California approves PG&E proposal for EV access in low-income areas


More electric vehicle charging stations are coming to California after the state approved an initiative to expand charging projects into low-income cities.

The Central Valley has opportunity to secure some of that infrastructure.

The California Public Utilities Commission approved the new projects, which totaled 15 proposals, on Jan. 11.

Approved projects include four PG&E pilots totaling $8 million to be added in PG&E coverage areas.

It’s part of a larger $1 billion investment that will add 5,300 new charging points to the state, representing a commitment to new EV infrastructure and related transportation electrification projects.

Sites for the new builds have yet to be determined.

PG&E will partner with businesses and individuals to advance its initiatives, which include bringing EV access and technology to medium/heavy-duty fleet vehicles, school buses, refrigeration trucks and parking spaces. PG&E will also provide better EV education for homeowners looking to install charging stations in their residence.

The San Joaquin Valley can look forward to one project that targets the region specifically: electrifying refrigeration units and other auxiliary power units of agricultural and long-haul trucks in the San Joaquin Valley by providing a minimum of 15 electrified parking spaces at one parking site.

The proposals were submitted last year by Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric under Senate Bill 350 and received expedited review.

California approves PG&E proposal for EV access in low-income areas

PG&E launches electric vehicle charging network with 7,500 stations


PG&E on Wednesday launched a new network for charging electric vehicles, a web of green energy that will eventually include 7,500 charging stations.

Condominiums, apartment buildings and workplaces throughout PG&E’s service territory in northern and central California are among the types of locations planned for the EV-charging stations.

Over the first three months of 2018, PG&E will install new electric vehicle charging sites through partnerships with business customers. Merced College, the first participating customer, was among the first round of installations.

The $130 million program will extend over three years and end in 2020, PG&E said.

All hosts of the EV-charging sites will be allowed to own the vehicle-charging equipment, PG&E said.

San Francisco-based PG&E will be allowed to own 35 percent of the charging stations installed over the three years, which would be up to 2,625 out of the 7,500.

“We have just installed chargers at our first customer site, which is the Los Banos campus of Merced College,” said Ari Vanrenen, a PG&E spokeswoman.

PG&E installed six chargers at the campus on Wednesday. Each charging station can accommodate two vehicles at the same time. Merced College has decided to own the first six chargers.

Equipment for this program includes what are known as Level 2 chargers.

“Level 2 charges a vehicle in four to six hours,” Vanrenen said.

In January 2017, PG&E proposed a $253 million plan to expand use of electric vehicles in California in a quest for cleaner air, but customers would be forced to pay more in monthly power bills to bankroll the company’s project.

The proposal’s elements include helping ease the process of conversions to electric vehicles of existing large- and medium-sized vehicles now running on diesel or gasoline, and expanding deployment of fast-charging electric vehicle stations that power up electric cars in roughly 25 minutes.

But that plan would come with a cost: Monthly power bills would rise an average of 28 cents a month for residential customers of PG&E, Vanrenen estimated at the time.

An expansion of PG&E’s initial efforts is already in the works through a series of pilot programs, Max Baumhefner, a San Francisco-based official with the National Resources Defense Council, an environmental activism group, stated in a blog post on Wednesday.

“These programs will be soon followed by 15 different pilots that were recently approved by the state Public Utilities Commission and which target cars, trucks, buses, cranes, airport equipment, forklifts and other things that move,” Baumhefner wrote in the blog post.

The stations that PG&E would own would most likely be in multi-family residential apartment or condominium complexes, as well as in disadvantaged communities.

“These would be in places where cars would be more likely to sit for extended periods of time,” Vanrenen said.

PG&E launches electric vehicle charging network with 7,500 stations

Ulta Beauty’s first distribution center in California now calling Fresno home

The walls are up at Ulta Beauty’s new distribution center in Southwest Fresno. But it’s taken months to turn Ag land into a commercial business that will soon house hundreds of employees, sending beauty products around the country.

Fresno Mayor Lee Brand said, “We had the right business elements. The right geographical location in California, the right weather, a big enough urban base to have a substantial labor supply, the cost of the building. All of that works in our favor.”

Brand likes the progress he’s seeing, he said the area in Southwest Fresno, known as the “Reverse Triangle”, features an e-commerce business boom with Amazon and Ulta going up. The nearby 41 and 99 will help drivers goods get shipped far north to Canada and as far south as Mexico.

Both Ulta and Amazon combined are expected to fill about 3,000 positions for their new centers.

Brand said, “The bad news is we have a lot of underemployed people. The good news is, now we have solutions to fill these slots. These people are working with social services and other agency sought to get them trained.”

The city is working to get people trained and ready. Ulta has hired its leadership positions to work in the new 670,000 square foot distribution center at the Northeast corner of East and Central Avenues.

Recently they started hiring mechanics and clerks. Online, people can start applying for material handlers or associate positions.

Brand said, “The orders come in, the computerized labels, they’re sorted, probably electronically and robotically– but there’s always humans there making sure those things get out and are done properly.”

The city offered companies a tax incentive per job, which they say will in turn, over a long period of time, will bring a $40-million to $50-million impact to our area.

Now other companies are looking at expanding.

“I think we are on the forefront here in Fresno on this new type of economy, and we’re hoping to really capitalize on it,” said Brand.

Ulta will be hiring during the next six months. They plan to begin shipping to stores and online guests in July.

Sunset Magazine put out a list of 20 game-changing places to live and Fresno’s on it

January 08, 2018 11:48 AM

Updated January 08, 2018 04:24 PM

Carnegie Arts Center to exhibit 80 pieces through March


What better way to celebrate the Central Valley than to exhibit photos that highlight life in this area?

The Carnegie Arts Center will be doing just that with an upcoming exhibit entitled Valley Focus. Eighty photo pieces by 50 photographers will be on display from Jan. 17 to Mar. 18.

Santa Cruz-based photographer Ted Orland selected the pieces from over 250 entries. Orland has worked for designer Charles Eames and was an assistant to Ansel Adams. He currently teaches master class workshops throughout the country.

An opening reception and awards ceremony will be held on Jan. 18, from 5-8 p.m. at the Carnegie Arts Center in Turlock, 250 N. Broadway.

Artists Included in the Exhibition:

Leslee Adams, Modesto
Rosalva Aguilar, Escalon
Janet Alcalde, Murphys
Ann Bailey, Turlock
Clifford H. Bailey, Turlock
Martin Baker, Modesto
Anna Barber, Ripon
Tracy Barbutes, Groveland
Fred Benz, Fresno
Barry Buttress, Turlock
William Calvin, Modesto
Carrie Anne Castillo, Turlock
Neil Cervenka, Turlock
Roberto Chiesa, Modesto
Susan Conner, Altaville
Scott Fergusson, Modesto
Michael Frye, Mariposa
Franka Gabler, Coarsegold
Charlotte Gibb, Lafayette
Clayton Gomez, Turlock
William Harris, Modesto
David Hoffman, Mariposa
Greg Hubbard, Merced
Gary Hunter, Oakdale
Alexis Isley, Delhi
Karen Jensen, Hughson
Linda Knoll, Modesto
Peter David Lee, Modesto
Alice Lessard, Merced
Larry Lew, Ceres
Lisa Livingston, Modesto
Emela McLaren, Manteca
John Moses, Fresno
Jodie Parolini, Turlock
James Quinley, Turlock
Evan Russel, Yosemite Village
Cassaundra Salvanera, Modesto
Joseph Scalero, Modesto
Tara Schendel, Turlock
David Schroeder, Modesto
Roberto Serrato, Riverbank
Jen Smith, Turlock
Elisa Solorio-Ontiveros, Turlcok
Lindsey Tallcott, Modesto
Andy Tolsma, Merced
Arturo Velasquez, Modesto
Christopher Viney, Atwater
James Weber, Discovery Bay
Dennis Wister, Modesto
Roger Wyan, Merced

There are new restaurants coming to the reborn Fulton Street. Here’s the latest

January 10, 2018 08:00 AM

Updated January 10, 2018 10:07 AM

Hundreds come for an Amazon job.


Updated January 16, 2018 03:00 PM

Taking a look at top trends in Central Valley tech for 2018

Phillip Lan


Twenty-seventeen has proven to be yet another exciting year in technology.

We’ve seen Google’s artificial intelligence create its own ‘AI child,’ which outperforms those created by humans, growth of blockchain, rapid advancements in quantum computing, flying cars and expanded use of the precise gene editing technique CRISPR/Cas-9.

Scientists are even beginning to develop potential roadmaps to reverse aging.

As we close out the year and look forward to 2018, let’s take a moment to see which upcoming technology trends will be the most impactful for the Central Valley.
On a side note, isn’t it interesting that as collective human knowledge grows exponentially, individual humans appear to be less capable? Some of us are losing the ability to read maps, spell correctly and do arithmetic in our heads. As voice-enabled smart devices evolve into wearables and then implantables, some people may find literacy to be unnecessary in a few years.

Back to 2018 tech trends.

Safe-driving vehicles, not self-driving vehicles
Despite all the attention that Tesla and the GM/Cruise Automation combo have been getting, Level 5 fully-autonomous vehicles are still several years away. 2018, however, will see the launch of collision avoidance, automatic braking and lane monitoring technologies from most major vehicle manufacturers.

Besides saving lives and reducing injuries, the elimination of fender-benders will eventually drastically lower our auto insurance premiums. Delivery fleets are now testing these same features, and semi-trucks may well be the application that pushes the pace for adoption of fully autonomous vehicles in the Central Valley.

Agtech hits its stride
Agriculture and construction are two of the last large industries yet to be disrupted by advanced software. Progress has been slow in these sectors, but momentum is now accelerating in agtech. John Deere’s $305 million acquisition of Blue River Technologies has lit a fire under venture firms to investigate opportunities and make investments in this space. We are still a few years away from viable protein reactors that literally produce food out of thin air or lab-grown meat (our grandkids will surely find it barbaric that we had to actually kill animals for meat), but many agtech companies are already being funded to improve yields and reduce pesticide use through intelligent software.

Ceres Imaging (, an Oakland-based VC-funded company is led by agricultural and technology professionals including agronomists, hydrologists, and remote sensing experts. The company’s products, which include agronomic insights through aerial spectral imagery, proprietary sensors and analytics, and artificial intelligence software is already being used to help local almond farmers optimize nut harvests and profits.

Local software and digital marketing talent expands 
The next generation of agtech won’t drive productivity gains solely from mechanization as in the past. Instead this new generation will leverage state-of-the-art machine learning and artificial intelligence software. Fortunately, as I mentioned in a previous column, Stanislaus County has established itself as a software development hub, with local companies employing over 1,000 programmers. Several initiatives will further accelerate growth of the county’s software talent pool and even expand it into the Stockton area.

  • Valley Hackathon ( a fast-growing programming contest that highlights local programmers continues to expand and draw coders into the tech community. The next event will be held at Modesto’s ValleyWorx ( tech and digital design co-working space on January 26 and 27.
  • ValleyWorx now hosts a rapidly expanding coding meetup every Wednesday from 3-8 p.m. The collaboration with Free Code Camp is providing an easy entry point for developers to accelerate their growth.
  • Bay Valley Tech’s ( coding camps and advanced software development classes taught by professional programmers will also grow the local talent pool.
  • In 2018, Bay Valley Foundation ( will begin raising money for a technology scholarship fund to provide tuition assistance to Central Valley students seeking careers in software development.
  • The Entrepreneur Lab, based in downtown Stockton’s Huddle co-working space, is a 21-week, intensive incubation program which cultivates high-growth startups.

In addition to software, the Central Valley’s digital design and marketing capabilities are also expanding rapidly.

Final Cut Media ( saw their business and headcount triple in the last year alone. As experts in marketing strategy, design and digital video creation, they help leading brands such as Bay Area-based Fit Republic Health Clubs successfully plan and execute integrated, digital-focused marketing campaigns. Final Cut is also a trusted advisor to large organizations like Stanislaus County, developing digital/social communications strategies for their human resources and recruiting teams.

Mike Daniel, Partner and Chief Marketing Officer at Final Cut, advises companies to build a solid digital content/distribution strategy and then leverage data to create an effective lead funnel. Final Cut’s success is further driving rapid tech and digital marketing growth in the Valley.

Expanding Bay Area companies bring more high-paying tech jobs
Bay Area technology firms winning in the global marketplace have created tremendous wealth in the form of profits, salaries and stock options. The resulting competition for tech workers and housing have raised salaries but diminished affordable housing in the San Francisco/San Jose region.

Some communities now require an annual income of $218,000 to qualify for a median-priced home.

Tech firms looking for relief have traditionally expanded out of state to destinations such as Denver, Austin and Seattle. The recent surge in Central Valley software talent, however, is beginning to catch the attention of Bay Area companies.

The Modesto/Stockton area now has both affordable housing and tech talent, making the region an attractive option for Bay Area companies who want to keep satellite offices closer to home.

American Medical Response, Novo Technologies and Oportun have all been expanding and hiring software professionals in their Modesto offices. Recently, Varsity Technologies (, a San Francisco-based company providing outsourced IT services to organizations that want to make a difference (non-profits, schools and healthcare organizations) opened a second office in Modesto within the ValleyWorx tech co-working space.

Local businesses and techies are thrilled to have Varsity bring their expertise and jobs to our community and are confident more Bay Area companies will see the value of investing in our region and our people in 2018.