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Bay Area Jobs Market Stays Hot But Mid-Wage Workers Feel Squeezed

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- The Bay Area job market is so robust, it produced more than 40 percent of all jobs created in California during the first half of the year, according to state labor officials.

Much of the growth is in tech-related work.

San Francisco resident Ben Halderman left his tech job more than a year ago to start his own company.

"It's a real risk and it's one that I figured that I have a couple of years to make this work," he said. "San Francisco is the best place in the world to do it."

Michael Bernick is the former Director of the California Employment Development Department.

"The Bay Area continues to be off the charts, the unemployment rates in our Bay Area counties are at historic lows," said Bernick.

Unemployment is under 3 percent in Bay Area counties. He says tech is not the only strong industry, but it is driving the expansion.

"We have many more jobs in education and health services, leisure and hospitality, financial services, now construction," he said.

Employers in the Bay Area added nearly 13,000 jobs last month, with Santa Clara County leading that upswing, according to state data.

Theresa Sherman just retired as a mail carrier and lives in San Jose.

"I say there's a lot of jobs but they're either minimum wage, or high tech, so those of us sort of in the middle - it's very hard to find a job to pay your bills," Sherman said.

In San Jose Friday, Mcdonald's workers rallied in solidarity with others in 10 cities demanding the company raise pay to $15 an hour. This after the house passed a bill that would raise the federal minimum wage for the first time in a decade.


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