Central Coast leads California in falling incomes

December 8, 2011

Residents of the Central Coast of California have been hit the hardest in the great recession with median incomes plummeting 18 percent since 2007, according to a report released today by the Public Policy Institute of California.

The report defines the Central Coast region as Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties.

In the great recession and its aftermath, the percentage of Californians living in middle-income families fell to a new low of less than 50 percent, the report says.

After adjusting for the state’s cost of living, in 2010, 47.9 percent of families in California had incomes between $44,000 and $155,000, considered middle-income. In 1980, 60 percent of California families were middle-income.

“It is unclear whether incomes will continue to decline or begin to rebound in the near future,” the report says. “However, if previous post-recession patterns repeat themselves, it is likely that lower-income families will recover much more slowly than those at the high-end, potentially worsening income inequality that is already at a record high.”

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The Central Coast has long had a higher number of public employees as a percentage of total employment than most of the rest of California. Early in the great depression of 2008 while Federal funds were propping up the State and County budgets, our area didn’t feel the economic collapse as much as Counties like Kern or Fresno. So Cal Trans, School, Prison, Water Treatment, Police and Firefighter employees still could spend to support Central Coast businesses. Now that the Federal Republicans in the House have blocked new stimulus funding for state and local public employment no one should be surprised that San Luis Obispo County’s economy is catching up to Kern and Fresno Counties in the race to the bottom.

Cicero, you forgot the fact that if we eliminated the Bush Tax Cuts, and maybe even going back to the tax rates of even President Clinton’s presidency, that this would be a quicker and more logical action? What a time that was!

But, for the short-sighted upon this forum, it’s easier to blame those damn unions! You know, where their alumni can are paid a decent and living wage, and that can go out and purchase the items that the non-union business have within their stores? Ahh, the good ol’ days before the greedy Banksters and Wall Street were deregularized, how we miss it so. :(