The economic recession hit many Bay Area cities hard, including the city of Newark in southern Alameda County. In January 2010, dozens of employees were laid off or lost hours, and all but the most essential city services were cut. One of the casualties of Newark’s budget crunch was its decades-old senior center.
When the print/online hybrid magazine Good pulled a pivot this month and became a crowd-sourced aggregator instead it meant that its staff writers and editors were out of a job. Mildly ironic for a brand that had been building its identity around the idea of social good, but hey, the bottom line is what it is.
Instead of working alone, independent workers—freelancers, contractors, independent consultants and temps—are increasingly joining co-working spaces. These are collaborative work environments where independents can rent desk and meeting space down to the hour. Roughly like a gym membership, at co-working spaces, you pack your laptop instead of your sweats.
In Oakland, 2012 is the boom year for formally expanding the prevailing cubicle-centered notions of work and worker archetypes. By the end of the year, Oakland will have at least four formal co-working spaces.
Close to 100,000 jobless Californians will lose as many as 20 weeks of federal unemployment insurance benefits by the end of May. Improvements in California’s economy and a drop in the unemployment rate will end an extension of federal benefits. At an Employment Development Department on Franklin and Turk, KALW’s Angela Johnston spoke to Little Vila, John Saunders, Maurice Gonzales and Yvette, who wouldn’t give her last name. Here are their thoughts on being unemployed in today’s economy: