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Santa Cruz County Economy & Jobs Digest

California State Farm Car Insurance Rates Rising


State Farm insures more drivers than any other company operating in California. Those 3.7 million drivers will see an average annual boost of $71 per policy, an increase of 6.9%, said Consumer Watchdog, a Santa Monica-based advocacy group.

Ocean Pacific Founder Remembered for Influence on Surf Culture


OP was the staple brand for the California surfer in the '70s and '80s, known for its iconic corduroy shorts. But the brand went beyond fashion.

State May Downsize Program for First-Time Homebuyers


Gov. Newsom wants to spend $300 million the first year. But falling home prices and rising mortgage rates are complicating the launch.

Ruling Opens Door to Gig Driver Unionization


A court ruling that upheld much of a 2020 gig-worker initiative also struck down a part that labor advocates say could lead to legislation for driver unionization.

Governor Shifts Oil Profits Penalty Plan to Regulators


The Newsom administration announces it will go through the state Energy Commission instead of the Legislature for a penalty on windfall profits of oil refiners.

Berry Farmers Fear Massive Losses From Flood


Food safety rules require that soil and irrigation systems be inspected and tested for pathogens after the floodwaters recede.

Court Upholds Prop. 22 in Big Win for Lyft and Uber


An appeals court has ruled in favor of companies that want to classify some workers as independent contractors, saying that Proposition 22 is mostly constitutional.

Silicon Valley Bank’s Sudden Demise


Silicon Valley Bank’s failure is a sign of weakness in the tech industry, and that could spell trouble for the state of California.

California Mulls Entering Banking Business


Studies say 1 in 4 Californians lacks full access to banks and many pay big fees. A state commission is weighing how to provide public banking options, such as no-fee checking accounts.

PVUSD Board Weighs Tentative Labor Agreement


The Pajaro Valley Unified School District will consider a tentative bargaining agreement with the California School Employees Association salary schedules, bereavement and other matters.

Bad Animal’s Ambitions: Become the Next Great Bookstore


Blessed by Beat poet and San Francisco bookseller Lawrence Ferlinghetti, downtown’s Bad Animal—a restaurant and wine bar inside a bookstore—deserves its own attention as an emerging Santa Cruz cultural touchstone.

Pacific Collegiate School Reaches Tentative Union Agreement


After almost a year of bargaining sessions, the teachers union at United Pacific Collegiate School in Santa Cruz ratified a tentative agreement that in a landslide vote.

New Bill Would Expand Worker Protection Laws


Workers who clean houses or take care of children and the elderly are not covered by state or federal workplace safety regulations.

UCSC Faces Dining Hall Staff Shortage


In 2019, the total number of student employees across all dining facilities on campus was about 1,100. That number has since dropped to 600, according to Bill Prime, executive director of dining at UCSC.

Will Tech Layoffs Hit Santa Cruz?


Layoffs in the tech industry have dominated headlines out of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area. With Santa Cruz just over the hill, experts are eyeing whether the county will feel the ripple effects.

California’s Population Is Dropping. Why?


The state lost more than 500,000 people between April 2020 and July 2022. The decrease was second only to New York, which lost about 15,000 more people than California, census data show.

Santa Cruz City Budget Update Shows Shortfall


At the middle of the fiscal year, the city shows a budget shortfall of about $9.3 million.

Booms and Busts: Silicon Valley Economy Divided


Joint Venture Silicon Valley is releasing its annual Silicon Valley Index, a high-level overview of the region’s economy and health. It defines Silicon Valley as Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, plus Fremont, Newark and Union City in Alameda County and Scotts Valley in Santa Cruz County.

Tech and Biotech Firms Launch New Layoff Rounds


Microsoft, Amazon, Intel, Twitter, Salesforce, PayPal, RingCentral and Zymergen have all filed WARN notices that reflect at least two distinct rounds of layoffs.

Santa Cruz Farmers Market to Stay Put at Least Until Spring 2024


With the library/affordable housing project set to displace the market from its longtime home on Lot 4, director Nesh Dhillon aims to choose an interim spot during construction by this summer.

Inside the Fast-Food Industry’s Attack on a New Labor Law


Susan Bushnell was in a hurry when a man approached her outside a Walmart one afternoon last September.

Lawmakers Want Investigation into ‘Wild West’ of California Cannabis


State lawmakers are calling for investigation into corruption in the state's cannabis industry and the exploitation of farmworkers.

UC Scrambling to Afford Big Wage Gains for Academic Workers


Just weeks after historic wage gains in new labor contracts, the question of how to pay for them is roiling UC campuses as they consider cutbacks in grad student admissions.

Californians to Vote on Overturning Law on Fast-Food Worker Wages


The new law to improve working conditions has been set aside after state officials said an effort by trade groups to overturn it had qualified as a ballot measure.

Visit California Hires Global Consulting Firm


JLL will prepare a dozen regional strategic plans to help the state marketing organization promote smart, sustainable tourism over the next decade.

Google Plans to Cut About 1,600 Jobs as Tech Layoffs Worsen


Google has sketched out plans to eliminate 1,600 jobs in the Bay Area.

Amazon Discloses Fresh Wave of Job Cuts


Amazon has disclosed plans to chop hundreds more Bay Area jobs.

SBA Opens Business Recovery Center in Capitola


The U.S. Small Business Administration has set up shop in the community room of Capitola City Hall to help businesses and nonprofit organizations recover from the recent winter storms.

UC Housing Problem Persists for Graduate Students


The recent agreement between striking graduate student workers in the UC system did little to solve their housing woes.

Feds Say Railroad Must Deliver Grain to California Chickens


Federal regulators have ordered Union Pacific railroad to make sure a livestock producer gets the grain it needs in California to prevent millions of chickens and hundreds of thousands of cattle from starving.

Study Shows Lower Lifetime Earning for Pandemic-Era Students


Students nationwide face lower earnings over their lifetime because of a loss of education during the pandemic, a Stanford economist said in a recently completed study.

Crab Season Delays Devastate Local Fishermen


Repeated delays of Dungeness crab season chips away at the long-term stability of the local industry.