Wednesday, March 29, 2006

slo stats

At a recent Chamber of Commerce breakfast, results were shared from a recent county-wide poll conducted by a local polling company called Opinion Studies ( I seem to remember that the survey consisted of 1000 folks and was conducted by phone.

These stats are a nice complement to yesterday's post which really got us going...

Who are we?

Work full time 43%
Retired 29%
Households with self employed 29%
Self Employed Income: % Earning $50K+ 71%
Government/Education Income: % Earning $50K+ 67%
Other Employed Income: % Earning $50K+ 57%
Own their own home (excludes students) 71%
Lived in SLO County less than 20 years 55%
Moved from So. California 21%
Moved for the Bay Area 11%
Moved from other state 10%
Moved from Central Valley 6%

Planning to move out of the county in the next 2 years 14%
(excludes students)
Planning to stay 86%

What do we think?

Businesses in county meet all or most of needs 62%
One store we want most: Target 12%
County has put too much emphasis on environmental issues 25%
County has put too much emphasis on economic issues 19%
Traffic is an “extremely serious” problem 11%
Don’t know their county supervisor 63%
Quality of life in county is a “10” on a 10-point scale 31%

So what do you make of these stats?

Many thanks to Opinion Studies for granting permission to use the stats!


Jeannett Gibson said...

Well, it looks and seems like there are three categories of people:

1) The Haves
2) The Have-Nots
3) The Desparately Trying

Tom Ramler said...

Oh Boy! It's statistics time!

My numbers are from the UCSB Economic Outlook 2006 for SLO County.

Average Salary SLO $32,850
Average Salary CA $45,276

Median Home Price SLO $538,700
Median Home Price CA $524,100

Household income <$25,000 23.7%
Household income <$50,000 50.4%

Real Median Family Income Growth -4.1%

Real Average Salary Growth +0.7%
Price Deflator (inflation) +3.4%

In summary (IMO): SLO is made up of two income households whose time buys them less product year after year and they have little hope of increasing their earning potential as long as there is an abundent supply of highly educated labor willing to accept wages below the State average to live in SLO

I'd love to hear from someone with a more optimistic perspective.


Andy Gibson said...

"I'd love to hear from someone with a more optimistic perspective."

Not from me.

We're squeezing out the middle class and essentially creating two classes, the rich and the poor (on the top level, at least). I realized quickly the only way that I am going to get ahead of the curve, since I don't have money in the family, was to start my own business. I wasn't going to get ahead in a cubicle working for the man in some big company that overpays it's executives for doing essentially nothing.

And do you know what that historically has meant, the dissolution of the three classes? The downfall of a civilization. The Roman empire collapsed the exact same way centuries ago.

Jeannett Gibson said...

Hey Tom, I'd be a little weary of any stats produced by UCSB Economic Forecast...I can't say whether the ones you used are accurate or not...but I do know that EVERY year for the last five years, they have gotten Solvang's info wrong. On simple things. Every time we get a call with a question, it's always a different I don't know if it's an intern/student revolving door so the work isn't consistent, but I've since put more salt on the Economic Forecast lately. FYI.

Steve Rein said...


Another point to note is that SLO County has a net in-migration of retirees. This group tends to bring enough wealth with them to buy homes without a problem. However, between these retirees and students the median income tends to be low.

These two factors make the "affordability" numbers look far worse than they are. Don't get me wrong here, Cal Poly is having difficulty replacing retiring faculty members because it is difficult to hire people in at a high enough wage that they want to move here, but it is not as bad here as Santa Barbara and San Francisco even though their "affordabilty" index numbers are comparable.

Andy Gibson said...

I disagree. The affordability numbers do not look much worse because SLO does not support the industries that Santa Barbara and San Francisco do (aka, Aerospace, Computer Science/Engineering, Manufacturing). Sure, we have some, but I am talking big traded companies like Intel, HP, Raytheon, etc.

In that category, it makes SLO worse which brings their index numbers closer to comparable with SF and SB. SF and SB have jobs, which is compounded further with Santa Maria and Lompoc (Vandenberg) nearby which also have jobs (but they are a bit cheaper as well).