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October 30, 2015

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"Lies, damn lies, and statistics."

Who knows how they got their numbers, but it makes sense: Pacifica is within commute distance of San Francisco, the East Bay, Palo Alto, and Silicon Valley.

Still a livable town, Pacifica may be destroyed by the Chamber of Commerce lobbying for widening Highway 1 and building out Rockaway Quarry.

Pacifica palindrome lovers are selling bumper stickers that declare Pacifica came in second at the finish line:

DECAL: PACIFICA PLACED

This mystified me, too. The biggest employers in Pacifica are the school districts, the City of Pacifica, and Safeway.

Pacifica's job market ranked #2. WalletHub says it considered nine factors about the job market: job opportunities, employment growth, monthly median starting salary, unemployment rate for high school graduates, unemployment rate for people with a bachelor's degree or higher, industry variety, full-time employment, percentage of persons employed but living under the poverty line, and percentage of persons in the workforce with disabilities. Perhaps it was our low unemployment rate and high full-time employment rate. But industry variety in Pacifica? There are school districts and the City of Pacifica (are any of those hiring?), and retail sales. Where are the Pacifica job opportunities for that high monthly median starting salary?

WalletHub also says, in considering socioeconomic environment, it looked at median annual income, time spent working and commuting, benefits, housing costs, annual transportation costs, safety, and social life.

I suppose if you're a teacher or administrator in Pacifica and a longtime clerk at Safeway and you live here, your commute is short and transportation costs are low, median income is higher than outside the Bay Area, benefits are OK, housing costs are lower than surrounding cities, crime is low compared to other cities, and social life is good because there's not much to do except enjoy the beaches and ocean and open space and hiking trails and biking and surfing and fishing and socializing with your family and friends.

This is a good example of how data are not the same as reality and can result in incorrect conclusions. Does anybody really think that Pacifica is the second-best city in California for job hunters? These data say so.

A bizarre use of statistics. Is cost of rent factored in? Without that, these stats are as useful as a fifth leg on a dog.

Where did Richie Bernardo get his information to even suggest that Pacifica is the second-best city in California for job hunters? This is not Silicon Valley. See the 2009 statistics detailing the top 12 employers in Pacifica. How did we make this list? Is this an early April fool's joke?

According to the city's 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
# Employer # of Employees
1. Pacifica School District 307
2. City of Pacifica 287
3. Safeway 214
4. Jefferson Union High School District 170
5. Lucky 125
6. Rite Aid 52
7. Recology of the Coast 50
8. Ross 48
9. North Coast County Water District 22

So how did we make the list?

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