Boosting Working People Key to California’s Economic Success
Statement by California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski on California’s Unemployment Rate Dropping to 5.3 Percent
Today’s news that California’s unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent, the lowest level since 2007, definitively shows that the state’s economy continues to grow despite ‘chicken little’ claims from corporate CEOs who say you can’t help working people and create jobs.
Over the last six years, California put some of the strongest worker protections in history on the books. During that time, our state’s unemployment rate fell by a whopping 7 percent. At every turn, big business touted laws that boost workers as ‘job killers.’ Yet the evidence shows that when you raise wages, combat wage theft, protect immigrant workers from exploitation and break down barriers that prevent workers from standing together in a union, the economy rises.
While today’s news is heartening, much more needs to be done. Too many workers are still living on the margins. CEOs and their lobbyists continue efforts to chip away at economic security for working people through the use of forced arbitration agreements, unreliable, on-call scheduling and other abuses that make earning a decent living more difficult.
California is a model for the rest of the country. Now isn’t the time to shrink from our responsibility to strengthen the lives of working people. It’s time to step on the gas by doing more of what we know works.