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Center for Labor Research and Education


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Report Suggests Rising Jobs, Falling Wages in Calif.


California’s unemployment rate may be the lowest it has been in more
than four years, but researchers at the University of California,
Berkeley report that’s not enough to make workers celebrate on this
Labor Day.

According to the university’s Center for Labor Research and Education,
the percentage of working-age adults employed in California is less
than it was in previous years, despite an increase in jobs.

Researchers report 300,000 jobs were created in California in the
last year. Nationwide, the number of jobs has increased by 2 million
over the same time period.

Nonetheless, a new analysis conducted by university researchers reports
the number of adults of working age in California and the United States
is down by 2 percent since the start of 2001.

Researchers claim the trend allows employers to keep wages the same
or let them drop when inflation is taken into consideration.

"The soft labor market gives employers little incentive to raise
wages to attract and retain workers," Arindrajit Dube, a UC Berkeley
research economist, said in a statement.

According to California’s Employment Development Department, employers
and workers should rejoice in the state’s unemployment record, which
a new report suggests is the lowest it has been in four years. The
department said there are currently 16.9 million workers employed
in California and 914,000 people out of work.

"Labor Day is a special holiday to honor the great contributions
of the working men and women of America, and an excellent time to
look at California’s labor force–to see where we’ve been, where we
are and where we’re going," said Patrick Henning, director of
the Employment Development Department.