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March 27, 2010

Recession Blues: More worrisome job loss news, and renowned East Bay children's hospice facility closes due to falling donations

Just the headline we all want to see, huh? But I knew that my husband was part of a disturbing trend in the East Bay, of companies shedding jobs. He was laid off this week; according to the state, another 4,500 people lost jobs in the East Bay in February.

"The job losses in the East Bay are pretty widespread," Jon Haveman, and aconomist and partner with Beacon economics told the Contra Costa Times. According to the Times, the thousands of positions lost marked the worst month for our region's job market since last September. 

In the Bay Area, a total of 6,700 jobs were cut. The next worst hit area in the Bay Area was San Francisco and the Peninsula. There were some bright spots. The South Bay gained about 100 jobs.

Most of the East Bay jobs lost were in government and construction.

Job woes and recession blues were a bit topic of discussion among parents at Walnut Creek Intermediate's sixth-grade skate night Thursday.  I ran into another parent, who had just been laid off this week as well. She works at George Mark Children's House in San Leandro, the Bay Area's only hospice for children.

The economic downturn and falling donations George Mark, a home-like setting in the San Leandro hills, to close and to lay off 52 of its some 60 staff. Managers say this isn't a permanent closure. They are just suspending  inpatient services for several months so they can look for new sources of funding and partnerships with other Bay Area hospices and health organizations.

(Photo here, from Robert Gauthier of the Los Angeles Times, shows certified nursing assistant, cradling a boy during a pool therapy session at George Mark.)

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

This really is terrible. My husband and I are waiting to find out if one, or both, of us will lose our jobs this summer...we work for the same employer! One child will be going to college the year after next, and our second child a couple of years after that, so not the optimum time to lose a job, not that there ever is.

Unfortunately, I'm one of those who do not see any bright spots on the horizen...no recovery lurking around the corner, especially in CA. I would love for someone to explain what will drive the economic recovery in this country. So far I don't buy that "green energy" is going to do it.

David said...

So sad these people do wonderful work.
Unlike the post above I do see things getting better. I went back to school when the economy got worse, this is an opportunity to improve yourself, and I'm middle-aged. Like me your college kids can be adults and take out loans to pay for themselves, your not responsible for them.

This is the second quarter in a row of positive growth in the economy, so that is a start. But it took us 14 quarter to get to this point, so it will be a while til things are really better.

Anonymous said...

My kids are only 8 and 9 but we are already telling them it's DVC for the first two years. (unless they get a full ride scholarship) That way they can figure out what they really want to do in life. My sister's kids only go to the Junior colleges but in Santa Barbara so she still pays around $1,00 a month for each. My dad was a salesman during the 70's and things were really tight back then. My husband's dad was laid off several times during his childhood. Aas a result we have always been frugal even in the good times. You never know when the other shoe is going to drop.

Anonymous said...

I think the children's house is an excellent charity, but one should remember that charities are businesses like everything else. Just because they do good work and are "non-profit" does not mean that all charities are well-run.

In many "non-profits" administrators are overpaid and lack accountability or good business skills or prudent spending to manage a business. Just something I run into in my line of work.

Sad to hear the closure and loss of jobs. Econonmy S*&ks right now.

Anonymous said...

A great society is judged by how they treat their children, elderly, and disabled. We're not faring too well, I'm afraid.

Christine said...

I've been a victim of this recession since 2008 when I was let go from a "sillyvalley" firm in Palo Alto. I'm 62 years young, a realist, and have never been unemployed with the exception of maternity leave 40 years ago. I empathize with families during these times, especially here in the bay area. I do NOT believe California is anywhere near recovery and foreclosures will escalate this summer as unemployment benefits are exhausted. "Green Energy" is a nice buzz word, but I don't believe it will carry us through these precarious times.

In the interim, I enjoy your blog in particular the info on Walnut Creek, since I may be moving to the San Ramon area this summer.

AKA Soccer Mom said...

Hello all,
Been out and about today, putting off the reality of the s&$%(y economy, but enjoying a day with my husband and son. Beautiful day, huh?

I'm both optimistic and pessimistic. It's weird. I'm dismayed when I hear, through talking to other parents at my son's school, or reading these comments on this blog, about the people who have been affected.

What is going on? I can't really think of any other words right now, but to ask that question.

Anon 10:49 a.m.: I hear you.

And, actually, my theory is that students can get a better education at community college--especially for the first- and second-year basics--than they could at a UC, CSU, or even a top private university.

I had a couple hundred in a freshman English survey class the top private university I attended.

One thing, though, my husband also is a product of a private universities. Our experience taught us that people shouldn't assume public universities offer the cheaper route--especially these days. My husband got a full ride (he was one of the National Merit types). I was a so-so student, but received a very generous grant package.

That happened, too, when I went to grad school in the late 1990s. Was talking to a co-worker, who graduated college in the mid-2000s and got most of her tuition paid for to go to Pepperdine. According to her, private universities calculate financial need differently than public.

Christine, thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear what's going on, and that you're encountering this at this time in your life. As I said, I'm weirdly optimistic--about some things--but I think you're right. That things might get harder before they get better.

Anonymous said...

Soccer Mom,

You're right. Some CCs offer rigorous coursework. City College and DVC are two that do.

Also, if you're not of very limited means, apply at private institutions. They have far more financial aid (grants) than public institutions. My friend's daughter attended St. Mary's for a BSN. Her son attended Cal Poly. Zero financial aid for Cal Poly and lots for St. Mary's. She paid much less for the private school.

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