(Editor’s note: This is a Shasta College student essay, submitted for extra class credit as a letter to the editor.)
It’s no secret that the United States’ fourteen digit national debt is looming over America’s citizens. With the recession in play, it’s becoming more and more difficult to pay bills, and more and more difficult for people to find jobs. The common jobs that would normally encourage high schoolers to apply, is turning them away to take in full-grown men who, otherwise, would be unemployed. “Since the recession began in December 2007, the United States has lost a net total of 5.7 million jobs” (The Associated Press). According to an article in The New York Times, in April 2009 alone, California cut 63,770 positions which boosted California up to a solid 11% unemployment rate. This is the fifth highest unemployment claim in the nation. While living in California can have its excitement, the current percentage from 2011 rests at 12.1% (Levy). One percent may not seem like much, but when one considers the 90 million people living in California, 12.1% is a lot of hungry families. One of the main branches being hit hard in California is the government. About one year ago, California government agencies got rid of 37,000 workers in just a single month (Semuels). Redding, CA, like many other cities, is facing joblessness and layoffs. Redding’s State Compensation Insurance Fund is looking to see many layoffs this year. This huge cut is going to leave families asking, “Who will bring home the bacon?”
Everyone’s seen the large, out-of-place building by Chevron on Shasta View. State Fund, the largest insurance compensation company in California, is facing drastic cuts of 1500-1800 workers across California. The Redding building, of 225 employees, is unsure of the losses they’ll be facing. It is said that the cuts will save State Fund nearly $350 million dollars per year (Mobley). A large corporation is making the decision to sacrifice workers and their families in exchange for a dollar value. The government workers will be left jobless and will be required to file for unemployment to prevent any debt, or further debt, from being acquired.
The unemployed will begin to filter into the already fully-staffed fast food restaurants and part-time retail stores that Redding has to offer. According to Joe Machado, advocate for the Churn Creek Bottom shopping mall, the mall would create “approximately 1,700 permanent and part-time jobs.” The large amount of full-time college students in Redding attend Shasta College. The concept of running out of jobs will leave these students without pay. With the addition of the Churn Creek Commons looking to hire, people are hopeful that our students and the unemployed would be able to secure a place in a new work environment. To an opinionated editor in the Record Searchlight, the idea of new jobs “looks darned alluring when the county’s unemployment rate hasn’t been below 10 percent in nearly three years” (“Editorial”).
It’s not exact whether or not the mall is the best idea to help the high unemployment rate that this county is facing, nor is it known whether the jobs that will be offered once the Commons are built are the jobs that State Fund-ers will be looking for. However, aren’t new jobs better than no jobs? With the taxes from the stores, Redding can help give back to its community. What’s a little farmland in comparison to a higher level of safety, better roads, and new public library books? (“Editorial”).
The Associated Press. “California Led U.S. in Job Losses in April.” The New York Times. 22 May 2010. Web. 18 Oct. 2011.
“Editorial: Awful Economy Makes Center’s Timing Perfect.” Redding Record Searchlight. 3 Aug. 2011. Web. 18 Oct. 2011.
Levy, Loree and Kevin Callori. “California’s Unemployment Rate Increases to 12.1 Percent.” Employment Development Department. 16 Sept. 2011. Web. 18 Oct. 2011
Mobley, Scott. “State Fund to Cut Jobs; Unknown Number in Redding.” Redding Record Searchlight. 12 Oct. 2011. Web. 18 Oct. 2011.
Semuels, Alana. “California Unemployment: Government Job Cuts Ravage California.” The Los Angeles Times. 23 Oct. 2010. Web. 18 Oct. 2011.
My name is Talena Keltner. I’ve lived in Redding off and on my whole life.