Employment is a fundamental determinant of good health.[i] Employment is the primary source of income for a secured livelihood and is necessary for material needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and leisure. Conversely, unemployment has been consistently linked to poor health, and has been associated with higher mortality rates, especially from heart disease and suicide.
At a neighborhood level, a higher number and density of employees can indicates increased economic activity in the area and can have important public realm benefits. More employees often increase local foot traffic, increasing activity at local retail businesses and activating public spaces for safe and healthy uses. Areas with a high number of employees, while a potential indicator of local economic health, may not be sufficient for improving employment levels of local area residents if residents are unable to access and/or are excluded from these job opportunities.
From 2011 to 2013 the number of jobs in the Strategy Area grew rapidly, increasing 19% (43,978 to 52,224 jobs). Modest job growth occurred from 2013 to 2015, at which point 8% of the city’s jobs were located in the Strategy Area. Much of this job growth can be attributed to the large technology companies that took up residence in the strategy area. Citywide, the number of jobs increased more linearly, with a 10% increase between 2011 and 2013 and 20% between 2011 and 2015. Between 2015 and 2017 the number of jobs in the strategy area declined by 1% and only increased citywide by less than 1%.
While many of these tech jobs likely did not go to low-income CMTL residents, due to mismatches in education and experience, the increased economic power within the area may have increased service sector jobs that could employ residents that lack college degrees in in-demand fields.
Job locations from the California Economic Development Department (EDD).
[i] Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “How Does Employment, or Unemployment, Affect Health?” Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, March 12, 2013.