29 July 2020

The Massive Gap Between California's Information and Agricultural Economies Has Grown Even Larger

In June, California's unemployment rate was at 15.1%, up from 4.1% a year earlier. The most vulnerable regions have been hardest hit.

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara is the metropolitan area with the lowest unemployment rate: 10.8%.
El Centro is the metro area with the highest unemployment rate: 27.3%.

It gets worse.
El Centro's per capita income is $28,099.
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara is $128,308
A difference of $100k, a ratio of 5 to 1.

50% of the jobs in El Centro are in agriculture. Farming can't be done online.
50% of people in Santa Clara have Bachelor's degrees, a simply proxy for knowledge workers who can work online.

The ability to work online is not just a proxy for higher pay. It is a proxy for safer working conditions.  The ratio of per capita COVID cases and deaths in Imperial County (home to El Centro) to Santa Clara County is 10 to 1.

It is another reminder of the fact that even though we are one state, we live in very different worlds.

Find your metro area unemployment rate here:

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