It's the No. 1 topic in the country, and it certainly is on the minds of people who live in San Leandro.
During the coming months, San Leandro Patch will be taking a close look at the job market in our community.
We'll have a series of reports that look at the issues as well as the solutions. We'll profile people who are looking for jobs. We'll chat with new entrepreneurs. We'll cast a spotlight on community leaders who are working to solve the unemployment problem.
But we also want to hear from you.
We'd like job seekers, business owners, home owners and others to write blogs about their experience. Contact Editor Tom Abate, email@example.com, if you're interested.
We also hope to host some forums or perhaps sponsor a "free coffee morning" for locals to gather and discuss ideas.
We'll post items on our Facebook page as well as our Twitter account, @SanLeandroPatch.
We'll conduct polls, encourage discussions on our chat boards and open up the Patch site for a community conversation on how San Leandro can create jobs.
We've spoken to city leaders, and they will be joining us in this effort. We want you to be part of it, too.
There is much to discuss.
San Leandro, a city of more than 80,000 people, has an . That's slightly lower than Alameda County's rate and more than a point lower than California as a whole.
San Leandro has 5,242 business license owners. That's only 13 more than in 2007. Those businesses don't include government agencies and financial institutions. Nonetheless, they employ about 30,000 people.
Sales tax revenues from April 2010 to April 2011 were up about 3 percent in San Leandro. The figures don't include the one-quarter cent sales tax increase that went into effect on April 1.
Retail business revenues here are up about 2 percent while construction has increased almost 5 percent. Gas stations' sales tax revenues have jumped 16 percent, most likely because of the price of gas. Auto sales revenues are also up, almost 14 percent.
However, food market revenues are down more than 2 percent and department stores are off 1.3 percent.
The per capita sales tax revenue in our city is $194 per person. That's much higher than California's average of $95 and Alameda County's $125. City officials tell us that's because our community is blessed with a significant number of non-residents who shop here.
San Leandro is full of possibilities. It has a marina. It has three major shopping centers. It has a historic downtown. It has easy access to two freeways. It has a golf course and many fine businesses.
The city has scheduled a series of meetings this week to discuss San Leandro's economic climate. We will be at those gatherings, so look for our coverage.
There is much work to be done and we hope you'll join the effort.