Merced County Hopes A Deal With Port Of L.A. Turns Former Air Force Base Into Manufacturing Hub

  MAR 6, 2018

Just outside the city of Merced, slightly east of Highway 99 is what used to be Castle Air Force Base. Like most areas of the Valley, it’s rural. Across the road from the center are train tracks, and you can hear the railroad crossing signals ding. This unincorporated area of Merced County will soon become an inland port.

Now, there isn’t any water around; we’re still in the Central Valley. It won’t be the kind of port that serves ships and boats. It will be a place for products to be built and materials consolidated, and then sent to the Port of Los Angeles.

Today, two-thirds of the nearly-2,000 acre base is still an airfield, but the rest of it is the Castle Commerce Center.

“This is a site that has roughly about 75 tenants, about a 100 different lease holds,” says Mark Hendrickson, directory of community and economic development for Merced County. “We generate about $2.9 million in lease revenue.”

Merced County is hoping to use a portion of the former Castle Air Force Base as a hub for manufacturing and distribution in the Central Valley.

  Hendrickson says their goal is to redevelop Castle “to really turn it into a site where we can focus some solid attention on manufacturing. We a want to be a place where things are made because when things are made people are working.”

Back in October, Merced County’s Board of Supervisors developed an agreement with the Port of L.A. formalizing what Hendrickson calls a “hub and spokes” development. Merced will become a place of manufacturing and distribution, and use the nearby rail line and freeways to bring goods to L.A. to be shipped around the world. In kind, Castle may also become a place where the Port can send products for distribution.

Merced County isn’t the only Valley county building ties with the Port of L.A. Kern County recently got approval to expand their Foreign Trade Zone at TejonRanch. They also will move the zone’s affiliation to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Port of L.A. The expansion means all of the industrial areas of Tejon Ranch are now within their foreign trade zone. Companies operating there will receive a break on import duties and fees. Tejon Ranch has announced the expansion will bring jobs to Kern County.

Hendrickson says the same could happen in Merced, when it comes to job creation.

“Using today’s workforce numbers, about one out of every nine jobs would be right here at Castle in about twenty years.”

There is one drawback though. More shipping could mean more air pollution.

Dean Florez is a member of the California Air Resources Board and a former state senator from Kern County.

“The kinds of jobs and economic growth this brings are very large diesel trucks that are running a lot of things that make the air a lot worse,” says Florez. “You know, that balance is really important between jobs, growth, and air mitigation.”

One issue is that companies send their trucks full of goods to a port, and then the truck typically returns to the distribution center, empty. If that truck is coming to Merced’s inland port, that could mean hundreds of miles driven just to return the truck.

“Companies need to figure out how to send items to wherever, but that these cargo trucks not come back empty.”

Florez says the Air Resources Board should come up with ways to incentivize companies to share their trucks, and reduce the total number on the road. He also says this is really an opportunity for outside groups to develop something like an Uber for trucks, where they share cargo going to the port and returning to the Valley.

“I doubt it will be state government that comes up with that,” Florez says. “But I do think it will be some outside force that will come in and say, ‘This is the way, really trucks should be running in California, we have this sharing mechanism and it actually would work very, very well.’”

Florez says he plans to bring this up with CARB later this year.

In Merced County, Hendrickson says they plan to use trains to mitigate truck pollution.

“We see our using our rail connectivity on-site to get trucks off the road, improve air quality, open up shipping opportunities for folks not only through Merced County and really throughout the entire San Joaquin Valley to places all over the world,” says Hendrickson.

Finding the best shipping practices from an inland port will take time. And developing an inland port in the first place has been a long time coming.

Mike Dozier is the former Community and Economic Development Director for the city of Clovis. He says that these sorts of deals don’t just happen overnight.

“What happens is you have this vision, and it might be ten years before that vision starts to materialize,” says Dozier.

Dozier says it takes time for infrastructure to develop, and to convince groups to believe in the project’s potential.

“You know, you just build on it, you just have to have things ready for when the time is right.”

For Merced County, officials hope that time is now.


The Clovis restaurant scene is hopping: Openings, closings and other shake-ups


March 01, 2018 12:15 PM


Image via Clark Construction

Published On February 27, 2018 – 12:30 PM
Written By Gabriel Dillard

Business owner and philanthropist Robert E. Smittcamp has given $10 million to benefit the neuroscience department at Community Medical Centers — representing the largest single cash gift for the Fresno-based health care system, according to hospital officials.

The gift will be used toward recruiting “world class” neurosurgeons; education, training and retention efforts for department nurses and clinicians; new technological advancements and establishing the Central California Neuroscience Institute at Community Regional as a leader in neurological specialties, according to a statement from Katie Zenovich, Community Medical Centers vice president for corporate development and chief development officer.

“We are so grateful to Bob,” Zenovich said. “His leadership in philanthropy will help us do much more to save and improve lives for decades to come.”

Combined with a 2016 gift to Community Medical Centers, the Smittcamp Family Foundation has contributed more than $11 million to the neuroscience program.

The first son of Earl and Muriel Smittcamp, founders of Wawona Frozen Foods, Robert — known around town as Bob — serves as chairman and CEO of food ingredient company Lyons Magnus.

A message Tuesday morning seeking comment from Smittcamp was not returned.

Community Medical Centers released the following statement from Smittcamp:

“We are impressed with the ambitious vision and leadership of Community Medical Centers and their rapid growth over the last decade,” Smittcamp said. “However, additional growth and recruitment of world-class neurosurgeons is still required to ensure the success of this service line. I am hoping this new gift will accelerate the hospital’s plans in this critical service area that affects so many Valley families.”

“I’ve become knowledgeable about Community Medical Centers over the past decade and concluded that it’s the charity where I can make the biggest difference, for the most people, for the greatest number of years,” Smittcamp added. “This is the Valley’s main hospital system, and I hope many others will join me in helping to grow its capabilities.”

Community Regional Medical Center’s Downtown Fresno campus is the home of the Central California Neuroscience Institute.

Top surfers to compete in May just south of … Fresno?

Top surfers to compete in May just south of ... Fresno?
The World Surf League announced this week it plans to hold one of its contests at Kelly Slater’s artificial wave pool in Lemoore. In this video frame grab, Slater is the first to ride his perfect wave created by a machine. (Kelly Slater Wave Company)


In May, the greatest professional surfers from Australia to Brazil will come to battle it out in some of the most pristine waves in California — in the dusty croplands of Kings County.

The World Surf League announced this week it plans to hold one of its contests at Kelly Slater’s artificial wave pool in Lemoore.

Slater, the 11-time world champion considered the best of all time, spent 10 years working with a USC aerospace engineer to design a perfect wave, peeling 700 yards along a recontoured water ski lake. Videos of the wave, with hollow barrel sections and open faces to do aerials and cutbacks, have captivated the surfing world since the first one appeared in December 2015. But only a select few have been invited to see it, much less ride it.

“A wave of that shape sits in the subconsciousness of every surfer in the world,” longtime Surfer magazine editor Steve Hawk told The Times in 2016. “That wave is exactly the fantasy wave I drew on the margins of my notebooks when I was in high school.”

 For the first time, the facility, the Surf Ranch, will be open to the public during the contest, according to a World Surf League news release. The two-day competition on May 5-6, the Founders’ Cup of Surfing, will have “a festival backdrop honoring the culture of surfing — food, music, beverage, art and special guests will all be on site for enjoyment.”

In an unusual format, the wave-riders will not compete individually but in five-person teams (three men, two women) representing different parts of the world: Australia, the U.S., Europe and Brazil, and one team representing the best athletes from other surfing parts of the world, such as South Africa and Japan.

Global teams of engineers and surfers are vying to build artificial wave pools that can produce high-quality waves that come in rapid enough succession to create an economically viable surf amusement park. An obstacle has been energy use and the length of time the water needs to settle after a wave rolls through before the next one can come.

At a contest, this is less of an issue because of the small number of surfers in the water. And the bonus for contest organizers: the mood swings of nature are mostly out of the equation; no need to wait for distant storms to produce ocean swells. Barring mechanical failure, perfect waves will be coming on May 5.

CSU Bakersfield students OK expanding Student Union and new aquatics center

Feb., 27, 2018

  • Will triple the size of the student union building
  • Student fees to increase

Students at California State University, Bakersfield have approved a referendum to more than triple the size of the Student Union and build an aquatics facility, according to Associated Students Inc. A total of 1,768 students voted on the referendum, with 1,086 (61.4 percent) voting “yes” and 682 students (38.6) voting “no.”

“The fruition of the project will encourage student development, improve student life, provide exceptional services and advance the CSUB community,” says ASI President Mariela Gomez.

The total expansion will be approximately 80,000 square feet – about 40,000 for the two-story Student Union expansion and 40,000 for the new Student Recreation Center Aquatics Facility. The current 17,000-square-foot student union was originally built in 1987 when the campus population was about 5,100. Since then, CSUB has grown to more 10,000 students.

The $37 million project — $27 million for the Student Union and $10 million for the aquatics center – will be funded through a combination of sources, including student fees. Student fees for the Student Union expansion will increase by roughly $40 per semester in the first year and tier up to $160 per semester over a four-year period for the Student Union expansion.

Fees for the SRC Aquatic Facility are roughly $20 per semester and will not tier. ASI leaders will meet soon with campus administrators to determine when the fee collection will begin. Students who currently receive financial aid will have all fees covered without any out-of-pocket expenses. CSUB anticipates that the Student Union expansion will need three years of fee collection before the construction process can begin.

Planning for the construction of the SRC Aquatic Facility, which will be located in the current dirt lot on Kroll Way across the street from parking lot K2 and next to the SRC soccer field, will begin immediately, and the timeline for completion will be determined after construction begins. Approximately 80-100 jobs will be created by the projects.

What’s up with all that construction? Here are 10 projects in the works

February 12, 2018 07:30 AM

Updated February 12, 2018 07:30 AM

Report: Central Valley home prices up year-over-year

 Marc Lutz


A recent report has shown home prices throughout the Central Valley to be up over the same time last year, but those prices might be coming down.

In its December 2017 data report, CoreLogic, an analytics and data provider, stated that home prices nationally were up 6.6 percent in December over the same time in 2016.

Locally, home prices in Stockton-Lodi and Modesto were also up. In Stockton-Lodi, prices increased by 7.8 percent year-over-year. In Modesto, prices were up 9.1 percent year-over-year. Those prices include distressed sales.

From November 2017 to December 2017, prices increased by 0.5 percent in Stockton-Lodi and decreased 0.4 percent in Modesto.

“Home prices continue to rise as a result of aggressive monetary policy, the economic and jobs recovery and a lack of housing stock. The largest price gains during 2017 were in five Western states: California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Washington,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic in a press release. “As home prices and the cost of originating loans rise, affordability continues to erode, making it more challenging for both first-time buyers and moderate-income families to buy. At this point, we estimate that more than one-third of the 100 largest metropolitan areas are overvalued.”

Thirty-five percent of the metropolitan areas with the overvalued housing markets have prices that are 10 percent above a long-run sustainable level, CoreLogic reports.

“The number of homes for sale has remained very low,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Job growth lowered the unemployment rate to 4.1 percent by year’s end, the lowest level in 17 years. Rising income and consumer confidence has increased the number of prospective homebuyers. The net result of rising demand and limited for-sale inventory is a continued appreciation in home prices.”

Report: Central Valley home prices up year-over-year

In downtown Fresno, buildings fall to make way for South Stadium businesses, apartments

Kern County solar farm is sold

Central Valley Business Times

  • Southern Power is buying Gaskell West 1 Solar Facility
  • “Gaskell West 1 is an excellent fit for Southern Power’s evolving business”

Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power is buying the 20-megawatt Gaskell West 1 Solar Facility in Kern County, the Atlanta, Georgia-based firm says.

“We are pleased to start the quarter with continued growth in our renewable portfolio,” says Southern Power President and CEO Buzz Miller. “Gaskell West 1 is an excellent fit for Southern Power’s evolving business as we strive to meet market demands through our commitment to develop clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy resources for the benefit of our customers.”

Construction of the approximately 280-acre project began in October 2017, and the facility is expected to begin commercial operation in March. Southern California Edison will purchase the electricity and associated renewable energy credits generated by the facility under a 20-year power purchase agreement and will have the option to keep or sell the associated credits. Southern Power purchased the facility from Recurrent Energy, which is developing the project. The purchase price was not announced.

D.H. Blattner & Sons Inc. is performing the engineering, procurement and construction services, and First Solar Energy Services will operate and maintain the facility upon completion. Southern Power plans to use third-party tax equity as part of the funding of the transaction.

The announcement marks Southern Power’s fifth solar facility within Kern County and 12th solar facility within California. With the addition of Gaskell West 1, Southern Power owns more than 3,500 MW of renewable generation from 38 solar, wind and biomass facilities either announced, acquired or under construction from California to Maine. In total, the Southern Company system has added or announced more than 6,500 MW of renewable generation since 2012.

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