Our view

Cheers, jeers for the week of June 15-21, 2014

By From page A8 | June 21, 2014

Cheers that the Solano County jobless picture continues to improve, based on unemployment figures released Friday by the state.
The county’s seasonally unadjusted rate for May was 6.6 percent. That compares favorably to California’s unemployment rate of 7.1 percent, but lags behind the national rate of 6.1 percent.

It’s also a significant improvement to Solano County’s unemployment of 8.2 percent in May 2013, and the 12.5 percent rate at the height of the Great Recession.

Still, Solano County has the highest jobless rate among the nine Bay Area counties.

Even as more people find jobs, there’s concern that many of the high-wage pre-recession jobs that were lost in recent years are being replaced by lower-wage post-recession positions. There’s also concern that many who kept jobs through the recession and its aftermath have seen wages stagnate, particularly when viewed against inflation.

Jeers to those developments.

Cheers that Solano County is making a coordinated run at senior poverty.

The latest example of this happened Tuesday with the Senior Poverty Summit in Suisun City.

The statistics are worrisome: 1 in 5 California seniors live in poverty. Among them are an estimated 3,500 Solano County residents over the age of 65 who have incomes below the federal poverty level of $25,000 a year. That’s 7.1 percent of all seniors here.

Tuesday’s summit set the stage for a working summit that’s planned Oct. 16. That’s where issues that were identified Tuesday will be tackled.

Jeers that a 40-year-old Fairfield man was hit by an Amtrak train and killed Monday as he walked along the Union Pacific tracks west of Sunset Avenue in Suisun City.

He’s the fourth to die in train-related incidents in the Fairfield-Suisun City area since early November.

It’s illegal to trespass on the tracks, which are considered private property. Beyond that, it’s dangerous, as the recent deaths illustrate in stark fashion.

We encourage everyone to exercise extreme caution when crossing local railroad tracks, and to do so only when it’s safe and only at designated crossing points.


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