"Great Recession" Update

September 7, 2009 6:39:02 PM PDT
On this Labor Day 2009, the job outlook is not a bright one for our state. A new report indicates California has the same number of jobs as it did nine years ago. Upbeat country music and a fast moving pancake line faced a reality check with Congressman Jim Costa. Costa said, "This recession that we have been in has been the deepest and longest that we've had in our nation's history since World War II."

Union workers came to the Big Fresno Fair grounds for an annual Labor Day breakfast Jennifer Jensen works for Fresno County and has witnessed the recession's impact. Jensen said, "They talk about the recession ending, but we don't see it. We are even having layoffs within the county."

On Sunday, the California Budget Project released a report titled- "In the Midst of the Great Recession" Inside, experts report the past two years of job losses erased four years of job gains. From July 2007 to July 2009, California workers lost nearly a million positions. During better times from 2003 through 2007 the state actually added about 847,000 jobs.

The construction industry witnessed some of the highest job losses on record. But recent reports indicate home sales are up and prices are increasing-giving hope to the labor force that the "Great Recession" could be finally ending. Randy Ghan with the Central Labor Council offers members like Jensen an encouraging forecast. Ghan said, "Construction when it comes back will be strong. I think health care will always be strong in our environment, as it comes back. We've got an aging America."

By next year's Labor Day, union members want to celebrate more jobs instead of fearing more layoffs to come.

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