July 24th, 2012

California’s largest cities cut 10,000 jobs during recession

According to a review by the Sacramento Bee, California’s 20 largest cities have shed 10,000 full-time jobs since the recession began. This chart breaks down the change in full-time equivalent staff in each of the cities from 2007 to 2011.

Read more here.

January 24th, 2012
Reblogged from Healthycal.org
November 11th, 2011

The Occupy Wall Street movement has focused the national discourse on wealth inequality and, specifically, the split between the richest 1 percent and the 99 percent that’s left. While most Californians, by definition, are not members of the wealthiest 1 percent, it turns out that many of us are represented in Congress by those who have attained that elite status.

The cutoff for the top 1 percent of American households, in terms of net worth, is about $9 million, according to New York University economics professor Edward Wolff. His estimate is based on the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances, which put the figure at $8.2 million in 2007, he said.

That puts many members of Congress squarely within the 1 percent, including prominent members of California’s delegation, such as Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein; Rep. Nancy Pelosi, also a Democrat; and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, a Republican. See above for a full list of members of California’s congressional delegation with average net worth above $9 million, from 2009.

November 4th, 2011

Another California solar company with federal loan reports huge loss

SunPower Corp., a San Jose-based solar power company that received a last-minute Department of Energy loan in September, announced today that it lost more than $370 million in its fiscal third quarter – more than double its second-quarter loss – and that its chief financial officer would resign.

The company said it also would likely lose money in its fourth quarter and would embark on a “reorganization” that would lead to job cuts.

Read more.

November 1st, 2011

Frank Quan’s family has lived at China Camp in California, catching and selling shrimp, since the 1890s. He’s the last remaining resident of a Chinese fishing village that once thrived on San Pablo Bay. Now the state is closing China Camp State Park along with dozens of other parks because of budget cuts. What will happen to Frank?

Read more about Frank and others in our series California Lost, stories of forgotten people and places

October 28th, 2011

Rotting and disassembled trailers and other refuse are regularly dumped at the edge of the Lawson Mobile Home Park in Coachella, California. Read more about this area in our story On edge of paradise, Coachella workers live in grim conditions. Photo by Carlos Puma.

October 28th, 2011

The U.S. Department of Energy has moved ahead with $4.5 billion in new loans for clean energy projects in California – despite the recent bankruptcy of Silicon Valley-based Solyndra. The new loans all were approved last month during the final days of a federal program created with stimulus money. Our reporter Dan Goldstein has the story.

(Source: californiawatch.org)

October 4th, 2011

A family of four in California would need an average of more than $63,000 a year – nearly triple the federal poverty level – to cover its basic needs, according to an analysis of the state’s cost of living to be released today.

September 29th, 2011

The Golden State boasts the most billionaires living within its borders among all U.S. states, according to calculations by Forbes to determine the 400 richest Americans. The above graphic shows the 10 wealthiest Californians. See the full list here.

September 6th, 2011

More than 2 million Californians commute for 45 minutes or more

Of the 15 million Californians who commute to work, 2.7 million spend at least 45 minutes getting to their jobs, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

The latest estimates come from the 2005-09 American Community Survey, which has half of commuters clustered in the 5- to-24-minute range.

On the high end, more than 470,000 commuters spend 90 minutes or more getting to work, with the biggest concentrations being in Los Angeles and Riverside counties.

Read more.

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California Watch, the largest investigative journalism team operating in the state, was launched in 2009 by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Investigative Reporting. Areas of coverage include education, health and welfare, public safety, the environment and the influence of money on the political and regulatory process.