Oakland's Economy Shows Signs Of Growth
The Great Recession hit Oakland hard, but officials say there are signs the city is on the upswing. As part of a budget update released Monday, Mayor Jean Quan and other city leaders said Oakland added 5,200 jobs over the past year.
The job growth helped bring the city's unemployment rate down to 13 percent, from over 16 percent last year. Property and sales tax revenues are both up and there's an available reserve of about $30 million.
Councilwoman Patricia Kernighan said she's hopeful Oakland's budget is turning a corner. "We're getting stable, and they are making plans for worst case scenarios and really setting aside money in a pretty cautious and conservative fashion, to make sure that we are prepared for any future surprises," said Kernihan.
In addition to the recession, Oakland had to deal with the loss of its redevelopment agency, which cost the city millions. Oakland is also facing unknown legal costs related to the ongoing court-ordered reforms of the city's police department.