California's unemployment rate takes a slight uptick

Apr 18, 2014

Unemployment in California slightly increased despite the economy adding 11,800 jobs in March, according to a new report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Shan Li reports for the L.A. Times: “Although the Golden State gained some jobs, the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 8.1% from 8% a month earlier, according to the data.”


“The rising jobless rate can be blamed partly on a labor force that grew by 47,700. That is a good sign for the economy because more people were optimistic enough to begin hunting for work again.”


As gas prices in the state are mounting, analysts aren’t sure when it will cease.


Shan Li also reports: “Problems at some of the state's fuel refineries have sent gasoline prices soaring in California just in time for the kickoff of the busy driving season.”


“A gallon of regular gasoline hit a statewide average of $4.196 on Thursday, up about 13 cents in a week, according to AAA. That's the highest price since March 2013.”


Silicon Valley software companies are experiencing record-level investments.


Heather Somerville reports in the Mercury News: “Venture capital firms pumped about $2.3 billion into valley software companies in the first quarter of this year -- the largest quarterly investment into any industry since 2000, according to a new report released Thursday.”


“That was nearly half of the $4.7 billion poured into Silicon Valley technology companies during the first three months of the year, which marked the biggest fundraising quarter in the last 14 years, according to The MoneyTree Report, a quarterly analysis of venture capital investments.”


Great access to preschool is important to a majority of Californians according to a recent Field Poll.


Lillian Mongeau reports for Ed Source: “Of the 1,000 registered voters polled, 55 percent said increasing the availability of preschool to 4-year-olds in California was “very important,” while 24 percent said it was “somewhat important.” Among parents of children 5 or younger, 70 percent said increasing the availability of preschool was “very important” and 20 percent said it was “somewhat important.”


Already under investigation for his inflated compensation, the superintendent of the Centinela Valley school district also took out a $750,000 life insurance policy.


Rob Kuzina reports for L.A. Daily News: “That life insurance policy was in addition to a $1 million policy that Jose Fernandez had already taken out. Both were whole-life plans, meaning the premiums paid by the district can be cashed out, like the balance of a bank account.”


“For 54-year-old Fernandez, whose total compensation of more than $663,000 in 2013 made him one of the highest-paid public school superintendents in the nation, those policies grant him access to even more income, should he choose to surrender the policies and take the cash.”


Health care sign-ups surpass federal and state projections.


Tracy Seipel reports in Inside Bay Area: “…a concerted, late-stage effort by California's health insurance exchange to expand outreach efforts, particularly in Latino communities, helped boost private health insurance sign-ups in the Golden State to almost 1.4 million.”


“That total exceeds the 830,000 target set by Covered California, the state's health insurance exchange, for the enrollment period by 570,000.”


Democrats in the state Legislature face a different playing field after scandals.


Alejandro Lazo reports for the Wall Street Journal: “Recent suspensions of three Democratic legislators have cost the party its supermajority in the state Senate, although it still retains control. As a result, Democrats now need at least some Republican support for legislation that requires a two-thirds majority to pass, such as bond measures and constitutional amendments.”


"It has put Republicans back in play," said Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff.”


In time for the 108th anniversary, delicate clothing adorned by San Franciscans at the time of the historic earthquake has been unearthed.


Carl Nolte reports for S.F. Gate: “The coat and gown are reminders of the days when San Francisco considered itself the Paris of the West and a center of Belle Epoque fashion.”


“That era came to an end with a crash on April 18, 1906, when an earthquake and fire destroyed most of the city.”

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