This report shows that extreme
income disparity, sky-rocketing housing costs, extensive joblessness,
and poverty-level wages threaten Oakland’s economic stability and
resident prosperity. The report also shows how the city can lift its
residents out of poverty with a new economic development strategy focused on creating quality jobs.
Titled "Putting Oakland to Work: A Comprehensive Strategy to Create Real Jobs for Residents," the report by the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE) and the Oakland NetWork for Responsible Development (ONWRD) found that the bottom 20% of Oakland’s families control a mere three percent (3%) of Oakland’s wealth, and over half of Oakland’s households – both renters and owners- are “housing cost-burdened” because they spend more than a third of their income on housing costs.
Meanwhile, the need for creating employment opportunities in Oakland is great: close to 43,000 “high need” Oakland residents struggle with unemployment, earn poverty wages, or are discouraged from the job search process altogether. The situation may worsen over the next five years, as over two-thirds of the 44,000 accessible new jobs that will be created in the East Bay will not pay enough to lift a family of four out of poverty.
However, the report points out that a new, proactive economic development strategy could significantly improve the well-being of Oaklanders. It assesses the potential of six different industries – including retail, biotech, and “green industries” - to create jobs in Oakland. Its findings also highlight best practices such as raising wage standards, local hiring programs, and “career ladders” that help workers advance beyond entry level jobs.
“The report shows that while Oakland’s challenges are great, so is its opportunity. "Putting Oakland to Work"demonstrates that city intervention can successfully connect high need Oakland residents to family-sustaining jobs,” says Jennifer Lin, primary author and Research Director at the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy. The study recommends that Oakland 1) adopt an economic development strategy that moves a quarter of Oakland’s high need residents (approximately 10,000 people) into family sustaining jobs over the next five years, 2) focus on attracting sectors that will provide job opportunities with good wages and benefits, 3) demand that new development projects
Click here to download the executive summary. (From EBASE Website)