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Government jobs & pay at top of SJ heap

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Government jobs & pay at top of SJ heap

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POSTED September 27, 2009 2:51 a.m.
Government provides the biggest slice of the employment pie in San Joaquin County and also offers the second highest average weekly wage.

Local, state, and federal government jobs provided 18.2 out of every 100 jobs in San Joaquin County based on 2008 data. Next was education and health services with 12.9 out of every 100 jobs followed by retail with 11.6 out of every 100 jobs.

Government jobs in San Joaquin County in 2007 paid an average weekly wage of $955 followed by construction at $908 a week, and then transportation, warehousing, and utilities at $874 a week.

The biggest source of government employment in 2008 in San Joaquin County was local kindergarten through 12th grade schools that generated 19,300 jobs. Next were non-school local government jobs at 12,800, followed by 4,300 state jobs, and 3,900 federal jobs.

Both state and federal jobs declined in San Joaquin County between 1990 and 2008 due to military base closings and the fact San Joaquin County – with the opening of CSU Channel Islands in Ventura County in 2002 – is now the largest county in California without a public, four-year university within its jurisdiction. Most state employment increases have occurred since 2000 in the University of California and California State University systems.

In terms of job growth, the best employment sectors for San Joaquin County are health care, transportation, warehousing, and wholesale trade. Between 2005 and 2008 jobs grew between 3.2 and 4.9 percent to create 5,600 more jobs. Manufacturing was also up slightly to provide 500 more jobs. The biggest loser during that time was construction where job opportunities slipped 11.9 percent shedding 5,300 jobs.

A study conducted by the University of the Pacific’s Eberhardt School of Business Forecasting Center predicts over the next two decades every employment sector in San Joaquin County will grow except for farming.

Economists expect construction as well as retail and finance to rebound somewhat as the economy recovers.

The study  notes that  “dozens of factors go into job creation, but certain key issues are emerging as most critical to the future of San Joaquin County First continued investment in transportation infrastructure is important to fully take advantage and sustain some of the current, positive trends.”

Construction is expected to recover which will play a critical role in job creation across other sectors. Job creation will be enhanced if new development allows the county to maintain recent gains in affordability “but must be planned to minimize impacts on the transpiration system and agricultural base.”

The report also emphasized the need to continue to improve the education of the local workforce as it is key to creating and attracting higher paying jobs.
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