If ERC Creates Jobs, Can We Fill Them?

Here are some stats to ponders

la-fi-g-california-migration-us-web1The LA Times has some details:

“Rents are going up very rapidly, as well as housing prices,” said Hans Johnson, a migration expert who is a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California. “The economy is booming, but how do you supply housing for the workers who aren’t commanding high incomes yet are still in demand?”

Darren Hayes is a native of Oxnard who worked for 15 years as a teacher in Orange and Ventura counties. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at California universities. He spent most of his life in California until moving to the Dallas area last year.

He and his wife lost their Oxnard home to foreclosure after the housing crash, and the options for a replacement home in California were sparse.

Hayes always pictured Texas as a land of larger-than-life belt buckles and oversized pickup trucks. But he kept hearing about the great quality of life from his brother-in-law, Pete Paule, an insurance professional who left Simi Valley for Texas in 2012.

It took one visit to persuade Hayes to follow suit. He quickly found a similar teaching job in an affluent school district north of Dallas in 2013, and for the first time in years a dream home appears within reach.

“If we stayed in California to buy a house, in my opinion we would have to settle,” said Hayes, 47. “Now we can be picky and choose the house we want.”

The large flow of middle- and lower-income workers out of California is a trend that dates to at least the late 1980s, according to demographic expert William Frey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

During the last decade, out-migration from California peaked during the housing boom. The trend continued during and after the Great Recession, though at a slower pace.

In the 1990s I sent seven engineers to Georgia to help another lab that need to rapidly staff up. Only three came back when four discovered that they could buy a mansion with 3 acres of lawn and circular driveway for the same price they were paying for a tract home with a small back year and neighbors so close you could hear them flush the toilet on summer days.   The three returnees had family connections in CA, we could have lost them too.

One of the major problem that current applied technology business have is hiring specialized skills from out of state. The cost of housing and cost of living is too high for too many, especially when the family partner cannot find a job to help with the budget. The 1 Jan 2015 CARB induced fossil fuel price increase is not going to help with the cost of living and could become a real shocker for potential employees coming from states with very low fuel prices.

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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3 Responses to If ERC Creates Jobs, Can We Fill Them?

  1. gjrebane says:

    ERC creating a “high paying applied tech job”??!! When they can make a case for that, I’ll buy you dinner.


  2. gjrebane says:

    I don’t think there is much chance that ERC will outperform its past record of creating jobs, especially jobs that can’t be filled by the local unemployeds.


    • Russ Steele says:

      True, but they are shooting for those high paying applied tech jobs. They could create some by accident and then not be able to fill them.


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