Political Punch: Hard times away from California’s coast are a problem for politicians

By John Wildermuth : sfchronicle – excerpt (via email)

The state’s latest employment figures are chock full of good news for the Bay Area and Southern California, but bring more of the same dismal message to the Central Valley.
That could be worrisome for a pair of Democrats who swept into Congress in November on the nationwide blue wave and now have to show voters they can provide the local help that’s desperately needed.
Rep. T.J. Cox of Bakersfield finds his district at very bottom of the state’s jobs well, with an 11 percent unemployment rate in February that was the highest of any of California’s 53 congressional districts. Rep. Josh Harder’s Modesto-area district is also hurting, at 6.8 percent. Both are much higher than California’s overall 4.2 percent.
They’re not alone, and it’s not just a Democratic problem. Of the 10 congressional districts with the highest unemployment rates, seven are in the Central Valley. They include the homes of Tulare Republican Rep. Devin Nunes at 8.6 percent and Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, the House GOP leader, at 8.2 percent.
It’s a simple fact of economic life in California, said Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable, which produces a monthly report on the state’s employment figures.
“From the counties where you can’t see the ocean, it’s high unemployment and a completely different job picture” than along the coast, he said.

The new numbers reinforce that picture. Five Bay Area districts sport the state’s lowest unemployment numbers, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco district at 2.3 percent. The next five are all in coastal Southern California.
That’s great news for three Southern California Democrats who flipped GOP-held congressional seats in November. Reps. Mike Levin of Oceanside (San Diego County), Katie Porter of Irvine (Orange County) and Harley Rouda of Newport Beach (Orange County) all represent prosperous, job-heavy areas where the unemployment rate now is 2.8 percent or lower. That gives them one less thing to worry about in their 2020 re-election campaigns.
The geography of the jobs’ gap also shows up in the Legislature. The state’s lowest unemployment rates are seen in Democratic state Sen. Jerry Hill’s Peninsula district (2.1 percent) and in San Mateo Democratic Assemblyman Kevin Mullin’s (2.0 percent).
On the wrong end of the job scale? It’s a pair of Central Valley Democrats, state Sen. Melissa Hurtado of Sanger (Fresno County) at 12.2 percent and Assemblyman Rudy Salas of Bakersfield at 11.2 percent… (more)

There is no reason to continue to pour more money and jobs onto the coast that is struggling to keep up with the increase in jobs and housing when there are vast amounts of land, housing and labor inland that has recieved none of the attention from the high tech firms, or financing for badly needed medical and educational facilities. Send the jobs to the workers and the housing. Quit pouring more inot the coast citiees.


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