Over the past couple weeks, a number of federal reports have shed some light on the economic picture here in California and across the country. We’ve already touched on how the recent U.S. Census Bureau report on insurance coverage has shown a marked drop in uninsurance rates thanks to the Affordable Care Act. However, other reports on employment paint a bleaker portrait of California’s economy, particularly for low-income communities of color.
This week, Dan Walters at The Sacramento Beepenned a distressing essay on the state of our state’s economy. He starts by pointing out that the monthly employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the state added tens of thousands of jobs in the past month but Walters notes that these numbers are misleading based on another report on regional economies from the Bureau of Economic Analysis:
Finally, a Bureau of Economic Analysis report on regional economies revealed that outside the red-hot San Francisco Bay Area, California’s economy trailed national expansion last year, and several rural areas actually saw declines.
Taken together, the voluminous data dumps reveal that those on the upper rungs of the economic ladder, and the communities in which they cluster, particularly in the Bay Area, are doing well. However, very large portions of the state, both geographically and sociologically, are struggling.