Shasta College Student Essay: Where’s the Bacon?: Sky-High Unemployment and a New Opportunity

(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”).

Works Cited

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.

Click here for an explanation of the Shasta College student essay project.

My name is Talena Keltner. I’ve lived in Redding off and on my whole life.

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17 Responses

  1. Avatar Alan says:

    New retail will not create jobs or more tax revenue but instead will take jobs and revenue from the retail stores across town that are already slower then previous years. Retail just recycles the money that is in town, which based on unemployment rates, is minimal. People don't have jobs to spend money at retail stores and building more stores won't actually create jobs. Maybe we can use the farm land to start producing something that could be sold to people outside of Shasta County so we can bring new revenue into our area rather than thinning out the money thats already here.

    This is a good article and it is good to see that students at Shasta College are thinking about relevant issues and ways to solve those issues. I would love to see more student writing about current issues and what they think is the path to a thriving economy. It is the students of today that will fill and eventually create the jobs of tomorrow.

  2. Avatar rmv says:

    YES, We are enjoying the Student's writings!

    Talena, I have 65 of my 71 years in NORTHERN CALIFORNIA!! (not just 18 0r 20)

    A new mall at that location WILL NOT EVEN start to solve


    are being sold a bill of goods, JUST LIKE the U S GOVERNMENT is selling

    the PEOPLE of OUR U.S.A. 🙁 It must ALL start with spending cuts, not more taxes!


    run through it! 🙂 We are in a RECESSION (depression?), and those who are

    hurting "KNOW IT"! If the GOVERNMENT feels that WE THE PEOPLE are wrong,

    let THEM sacrifice some of THEIR MEDICAL BENEFITS, INCOME, PERKS, and

    other unseen benefits they receive! (oh, i'm sure they will ALL say they have.) 🙁

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR ARTICLE, but just stick around? MONEY & POWER

    is what it is ALL about! Not the people of NORTHERN CALIFORNIA!

    GOD BLESS AMERICA (and her children)! 🙂

    • Avatar Todd says:

      Spending cuts by government tend to make recessions worse.

      You don't want any new taxes yet taxes currently are setup to help the rich and push the middle class out of existence.

      Rather than sacrificing their medical benefits maybe we could just make them available to everyone. Everyone I know working hard to support kids and run small businesses are only one medical emergency away from bankruptcy.

      Stop using age as a supporting argument. This current generation is paying for the excesses of the generation that they are following. Any problem we currently have is due to decisions made long before the authors of these opinion pieces became voting members of our society.

  3. Avatar Insanity Prevails says:

    No real bacon will come from Churn Creek bottom land if they proceed with yet another dated piece of marketplace architecture, that's for sure. It will come from corporate refridgerators instead.

  4. Avatar david kerr says:

    "The common jobs that would normally encourage high schoolers to apply, is turning them away to take in…"

    Jobs don't turn away. Plural subject does not take "is."

  5. Avatar david kerr says:

    "I've lived in Redding off and on my whole life." It can't be whole life and on and off. Should read "I've lived in Redding for most of my life."

  6. Avatar Joanne Lobeski Snyde says:

    Jobs are not created to pay people, no matter how much they need to be paid. Jobs are created for people who are willing to work to produce, educate, sell, distribute, build or create. More low wage retail jobs is not going to fix what has always been a tough job market in Redding.

  7. Avatar Terry says:

    Hi, Talena,

    Thank you for your willingness to share your ideas with our whole community. Your writing was very thought-provoking.

    I, too, am afraid that building new retail stores will take the customers from our current retail stores. In addition, retail wages are not usually the most generous of wages.

    On the other hand, I think you made a very good point about the problems created when government jobs are cut. If I remember local history correctly, during the Great Depression, many people moved to this area to help in the building of Shasta Dam. That government work project (and others in other places in the nation) created jobs in a time where good jobs were few and far between!

    It seems to me that if we could do more infrastructure repair and rebuilding now, too, we would once again create jobs. That would have a wonderful ripple effect, as these workers now have money to spend. It would inject money into the local economy. I understand that Italy is doing this now to "build" themselves out of their recession.

    Thanks again for taking the time and effort to research and share your ideas with us, Talena!

  1. December 21, 2011

    […] laws will take effect Jan. 1, according to a list published by the California Chamber of Commerce.Where’s the Bacon?: Sky-High Unemployment and a New OpportunityBy Talena Keltner December 20, 2011 (Editor's note: This is a Shasta College student essay, […]

  2. December 22, 2011

    […] laws will take effect Jan. 1, according to a list published by the California Chamber of Commerce.Where's the Bacon?: Sky-High Unemployment and a New OpportunityBy Talena Keltner December 20, 2011 (Editor's note: This is a Shasta College student essay, […]