California to increase manufacturing staffing as unemployment rate drops

12.16.2011


California to increase manufacturing staffing as unemployment rate drops
California to increase manufacturing staffing as unemployment rate drops

While California's manufacturing sector experienced a small employment decrease in November, the state's overall unemployment rate fell to 11.3 percent, its lowest level since the middle of the recession in June 2009.

According to the California Employment Development Department (EED), the state added a total of 6,600 nonfarm jobs last month, with industries such as mining and logging, educational and health services and leisure and hospitality helping to lead the way.

The Los Angeles Times reports the decline in the unemployment rate from 11.7 percent to 11.3 percent represents the fourth consecutive month that the state has gained jobs. So far this year, a total of 211,400 jobs have been created, the EED noted.

Donald Whatley, a furniture manufacturing production manager who was laid off in the spring, told the Times that while he has not yet been re-hired, he is cautiously optimistic about the improving job market.

"Just getting in the door is my problem," he said. "But I've seen the number of calls [from potential employers] turn around lately and, hopefully, something will turn up."

Whatley, like many other Californians, could benefit from recent decisions to boost manufacturing staffing in the state.

In one case, a French semiconductor company announced recently that it is moving ahead with plans to establish a solar manufacturing facility in San Diego, a move that will likely keep the area relevant for the latest photovoltaic technology.

According to a release from the company, the new site will allow for a manufacturing capacity of 200 megawatts, which will lead to the creation of 450 new on-site manufacturing jobs. Once the facility is running at full capacity, it will reportedly pave the way for more than 1,000 indirect jobs as well, the release noted.

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said in a statement that the company's move to the area will "create hundreds of well-paying jobs and build on San Diego's growing reputation as one of the world's leading clean-technology clusters."

The new jobs will be particularly beneficial for the San Diego area, where the unemployment rate currently sits at 9.2 percent. While this is lower than that of California as a whole, it is still above the national rate of 8.6 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.