Jobs for Rosemead? The Real Stats


I was wondering what the unemployment situation is like, and went to the EDD's California Labor Market site. On that site, you can generated graphs of labor market data, to see trends in employment (among other things). To see if Wal-Mart's arrival caused our unemployment rates to drop, I did a search on 2006 unemployment rates in Rosemead and surrounding communities.

The project was sold as a way to create jobs for Rosemead residents; if that happened, then the unemployment rate in Rosemead, relative to the other communities, should drop. What I saw was that the local unemployment trended nearly identically with the rest of the cities. The rate was rising for several months, then dropping for several months.

Rosemead wasn't dropping any faster than anyone else. In fact, it appears that El Monte and Montebello dropped more (did better), relatively, and Alhambra, San Gabriel, and Monterey Park dropped less (did worse), and Temple City did about the same. Still, they were all pretty much the same. The data and a Flash graph are attached.

What's probably happening is the effect is regional, rather than within a single city. The company obviously didn't hire an entire staff full of unemployed people -- they moved people within their company, and added new staff at other locations, and new staff here from other companies, as well as unemployed people. People also get around, and travel for work.

The other question is: did the Wal-Mart supporters lie when they said Wal Mart would create jobs? Technically, no, but in a few ways, yes. They did create jobs, mainly in Rosemead, but jobs weren't necessarily going to Rosemead people. Some weren't necessarily created "in" Rosemead, if they transferred someone and created a vacancy elsewhere. The net effect is "more jobs" but not where you want them. (Also, it's not accurate to say a company is "creating" jobs, because the viability of a business depends on the economy.)

Click on 91770RegionUnemployment.swf to enlarge the chart. (There are also interesting labor stats at the BLS. Did you know that 409,000 people make the minimum wage of $5.15 an hour, but over 1.3 million make less than that.)

91770RegionUnemployment.swf24.39 KB
91770RegionalUnemploymentData.txt5.05 KB


Thanks, John.

We all knew this was going to happen, but now we have proof.

Next up, I'd like to see how our tax revenue collection is going.  Since we haven't heard otherwise, I'd be willing to bet that the Wal-Mart has not contributed anything close to the tax revenue that the proponents said it would (I mean, think about it:  If it did, you KNOW they'd have been crowing about it during the election--That's an example of the hound that did not bark).


We should be able to see some stats at the Board of Equalization site now, or soon. They don't list taxes from each business, but you can see how much money they send back to the city. Maybe this year's revenues could be compared to last years', and also to the other cities in the area.

I hope others find this information useful. The argument about "creating jobs" sounds too good to be true. Though it takes capital to "create" a job, it also takes unemployment or a mass of underpaid people to staff a large business that operates on slim profit margins. Long-term wage stagnation and relatively high unemployment in the Midwest and South helped "create" Wal-Mart.