Nevada County Millennials Priced Out of California?

I am the designated reader for a local lefty blog [I drew the short straw], highlighting subjects that our collective discussion group might find interesting, especially negative comments about conservativs, the distortion of facts, and the writers inability to deal with the truth. It is more efficient for a single person to do the reading, rather then waste the time of the larger group, who have more productive things to do with their time.

Our local economy is in the tank and there are on going complaints by this lefty blogger that our community is not creating enough jobs for our young people and those they do create are low salary jobs. Thus, our young people are leaving the community and not returning. There maybe a reason for that.

CalWatchdog has some insight in to the problem, in a article titled: Are millennials being priced out of California?

A recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau analyzing statistics from the latest American Community Survey showed the Millennial Generation is struggling to find full-time employment, obtain affordable housing and reach financial independence. The problems are particularly bad here in California.

Young Californians are not only worse off than their parents’ generation, but they’re doing worse than their counterparts in the rest of the country.
“Many of the differences between generations examined within these latest data reflect long-term demographic and societal changes,” said Jonathan Vespa, a Census Bureau demographer. “Three decades of decennial census statistics combined with the latest American Community Survey statistics give us a unique view of how — and where — our nation is changing.”

Better educated but worse job climate for young Californians

Among the five years of data, the most striking statistics are in the area of employment. Despite being better educated, young Californians are earning less money than their parents and are less likely to have full-time employment.
In 1980, 71.1 percent of Californians aged 18 to 34 were employed — better than the national average of 69.3 percent. Today, California’s employment rate of young adults is lower than the national average at 62.1 percent.
Tom Allison and Konrad Mugglestone of Young Invincibles write, “The great recession hit young workers hard, leaving roughly 5 million young adults unemployed five years after the downturn officially ended.

Young Californians earning less today

Of those young people working full-time, wages are down in 2013 inflation-adjusted dollars. Thirty-four years ago, the average Californian earned $36,961 dollars per year. That median wage has dropped to $35,734 per year for the average Californians aged 18 to 34.

As Slate recently wrote of U.S. Census data analyzed by the Young Invincibles, “For Americans between the ages of 25 and 34, annual income earned from wages has fallen in four of the top five biggest employment sectors — retail (down 9.9 percent), the leisure and hospitality business (down 14.65 percent), manufacturing (down 2.87 percent), and professional and business services (down 4.28 percent).” According to the study, the one exception is health care, which has remained nearly unchanged.

A significant portion of the Jobs in Nevada County are in these top five sectors with declining wages. While the highest cost of living is in the Bay Area, Los Angles and San Diego, the cost of living in Nevada County is not cheap, nor do local business pay the higher wages found in the coastal cities.

In San Francisco County, the average full-time worker, between the ages of 18 and 34, earned a median annual salary of $59,580 — more than double the average wages in rural Madera and Modoc counties. The average young worker in the tech-dominant San Jose metro region earns $51,149 per year — 52 percent more than their counterparts in the Los Angeles metro area.

The article goes on to examine the cost of living challenges for millennials seeking jobs.

California is home to three of the most expensive major cities for housing in the country: Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. The most expensive city in the country, San Francisco, has an average median home price of $744,400 and requires an annual salary of $145,500 to pay the nearly $3,400 mortgage, according to Business Insider. That’s double Seattle and Chicago and more than three times the cost of Houston, Dallas and San Antonio.

The city of San Jose estimates the average apartment in San Jose rents for $2,230 — up by 49 percent in the past four years.

Unsurprisingly, due to these increased housing costs, millennials in California are more likely to live with their parents than those in the rest of the country or previous generations. According to the U.S. Census Bureau report, 34.5 percent of Californians aged 18 to 34 are living with a parent who is the householder.

For many young people who have graduated from Community College, or the University, and are ready enter the job market the options are to come home to Nevada County, and live with mom and dad, or seek a job where the cost of living in much lower, and the salaries higher. Texas has created more job since the recession than all the other 49 states together according to the Labor Department. Why come home when you can get a better job in Texas or Washington and still afford to buy a house.

It would appear that Nevada County millennials being priced out of California. This is not just a local problem. It is a problem through out the state. The only place were jobs are being created in large numbers are in the high cost of living cities, and not in Nevada County.

About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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