In California, the signals are mixed.
On one hand, a recent study of U.S. Census data by the Washington, D.C.-based Economic Innovation Group found that Los Angeles County led the nation with the largest number of jobs added, a total of 352,840 between 2010 and 2014.
The good news extended statewide. Twenty counties in the U.S. accounted for half of net new businesses established in those years, and five of those counties are in California.
Yet the latest Field Poll found that 74 percent of California voters list the economy and jobs as their top concern.
Is that just habit? Or something else?
A closer look reveals a problem of definitions, starting with: What is a job?
“People are considered employed if they did any work at all for pay or profit during the survey reference week,” explains the website of the U.S. government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, referring to its monthly survey of 60,000 households, “This includes all part-time and temporary work, as well as regular full-time, year-round employment.”
So when people pick up part-time or temporary work for a few days or even for a few hours, the government counts them as “employed” at “a job.”
Some people are counted as “employed” at “a job” even if they don’t get paid.
Here’s an example from the BLS website: “Garrett is 16 years old, and he has no job from which he receives any pay or profit. However, Garrett does help with the regular chores around his parents’ farm and spends about 20 hours each week doing so.”
Here’s another one: “Lisa spends most of her time taking care of her home and children, but she helps in her husband’s computer software business all day Friday and Saturday.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Garrett and Lisa have “jobs.” They’re in a category called ”unpaid family workers,” which includes …
This piece was originally published by the L.A. Daily News