The news was pretty rosy near the beginning of this year.
From our reporting, we learned that our Yuba-Sutter economy in 2019 experienced the lowest unemployment rate and highest job numbers since 1990. Area business leaders and analysts saw the area as well-positioned for additional growth, despite worry about the eventuality of another recession.
Prior to the Great Recession just over a decade ago, we had a total of 47,400 jobs on record. That remained stagnant and didn’t rebound to pre-recession levels until 2016. From 2016 to 2018, the number of local jobs grew by 5.3 percent -- with a total of 49,900 available jobs, according to Current Employment Statistics, a state/federal program that compiles statistics.
What grew? Government, trade, transportation and utilities, and education and health services. The farm sector grew by 800.
The number of people employed grew by 10,700 since the last recession, or 12.9 percent, to a total of 69,300. There weren’t just more jobs available, there were more people at work. The number of people reporting that they were unemployed dropped by 8,300 or 61 percent to a total of 5,300. There were more opportunities.
Of course, things have changed now. Unemployment numbers are sure to come up significantly, and for how long, we won’t know until the coronavirus epidemic wanes and we find out how many businesses that were forced to lay off workers are able to put them back to work.
We worked hard and for a long while to climb back from the last recession. And at the beginning of this year we were poised to do some great things. We’re sure that we’ll make it back to that mark. We more than made it back from the Great Recession, no matter how long it took. We’re pretty sure we’ll rebound from this setback.
By the way, don’t forget that Hard Rock brought some 1,200 jobs to the area and did the great majority of their hiring locally. That had a big effect on our economy. Just six months since their opening, they, like all businesses, are hit by the shelter-in-place orders and have had to lay off staff ... and, at least at present, are offering them compensation packages.
That’s a hard row to hoe for a business that invested such a massive amount to build, hire up and open. And paying laid-off workers? Admirable. Hats off.
Our View editorials represent the opinion of the Appeal–Democrat and its editorial board and are edited by the publisher and/or editor. Members of the editorial board include: Publisher Glenn Stifflemire and Editor Steve Miller.