Rachel Brown headshot
SCIENCE OF NUTRITION Rachel Brown will discuss her new book, “For Fork’s Sake: A Quick Guide to Healing Yourself and the Planet Through a Plant-Based Diet,” at the Los Gatos Library on June 1. (contributed)

Silicon Valley unemployment rate decreases to 2.8%

The unemployment rate in Silicon Valley decreased month-to-month to 2.8% in April for the first time in 2023, following a slight increase from mid-February to mid-March, according to analysis by Joint Venture Silicon Valley’s Institute for Regional Studies. 

The unemployment rate in the region is at its lowest since December of 2022, when it sat at 2.3%. Overall employment in the region decreased by more than 16,300 workers, while the number of unemployed persons decreased by more than 4,000. 

The total labor force in Silicon Valley decreased by more than 20,500 from mid-March to mid-April, the largest month-to-month decrease since the period from March 2020 to April 2020, when it decreased by 55,100 individuals. The total labor force in the region is back down to the level last seen in January of this year (1.5 million) and includes almost 76,200 more individuals than the pandemic low of just under 1.42 million in April 2021. 

Overall, employers added just over 21,000 workers between April 2022 and April 2023. The total number of unemployed workers in the region in mid-March was nearly 134,900 lower than the peak (170,000) in April 2020. Total employment in the region is up by 184,200 since April 2020, which reflected the initial job losses associated with the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Overall, job growth is plus-14.5% over the last 36 months, or three years. The unemployment rate in Silicon Valley in January was just over 0.4 percentage points higher than it was a year before (April 2022), and 9.4 percentage points lower than April 2020. 

The analysis follows the May 19 release from the California Employment Development Department.

“The unemployment rate in Silicon Valley has declined for the first time since November to December of last year, stopping the steady increases month-to-month that were experienced over the first quarter of 2023,” said Ryan Young, research manager for BW Research, and an affiliated researcher at the institute. “Leisure and Hospitality experienced healthy growth once again, and is now just 8,900 jobs below pre-pandemic levels, which is remarkable as the initial deficit was more than 125,000 during the early stages of the pandemic.”

Author to discuss plant-based diet

The Plant-Based Advocates Speaker Series continues June 1 from 5-6pm at the Los Gatos Library, 100 Villa Ave.

Rachael Brown will discuss her new book, “For Fork’s Sake: A Quick Guide to Healing Yourself and the Planet Through a Plant-Based Diet.” After being diagnosed with high cholesterol in her late 20s, Brown started exploring the science of nutrition. After eating plant-based for 17 days, her cholesterol dropped 50 points.

The event is free to attend.

Festival celebrating diversity coming to Los Gatos

AWỌ’s Huemanity Festival will take place at Congregation Shir Hadash, 20 Cherry Blossom Lane in Los Gatos, on June 4 from noon to 7pm. The youth-led festival will offer workshops and interactive celebrations for all ages.

Through music and collective storytelling, the Huemanity Festival aims to bring community members together to recognize their similarities while understanding—and celebrating—their differences.

AWỌ focuses on self-understanding and community kinship across color, class and culture. Organizers hope to expand their commitment to inclusion and representation this year by also addressing the needs of youth with special needs, and encourage their families to join in the celebration.

Scheduled workshops include music therapy, drumming and dance, indigenous bead making, necklace making and other arts-based options. The event will also feature a DJ and magic show, as well as food and drinks.

AWỌ is a social justice nonprofit that uses public education and awareness, supported with the arts and culture to bring people together to share, learn and engage with one another to improve self-understanding.

Those interested in attending can register for free at awocenter.org/huemankindfest

Sechen graduates from Harvey Mudd College

Daniela Sechen of Los Gatos received a bachelor of science degree from Harvey Mudd College on May 14. 

Sechen completed a joint major in computer science and mathematics and graduated with high distinction and departmental honors in computer science. Sechen attended Westmont High School.

Harvey Mudd College is the liberal arts college specializing in science, engineering and mathematics in Claremont.

Los Gatos resident completes intensive research project

Alison Gilmour of Los Gatos, a member of the class of 2024 majoring in Interactive Media and Game Development at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), was a member of a student team that recently completed an intense research project titled “Disconnection in the Games Community at WPI.”

At WPI, all undergraduates are required to complete a research-driven, professional-level project that applies science and technology that addresses an important societal need or issue. About two-thirds of students complete a project at one of the university’s 50-plus off-campus project centers, which are located around the world. 

A signature element of the undergraduate experience at WPI, the project-based curriculum offers students the opportunity to apply their scientific and technical knowledge to develop solutions to real problems that affect the quality of people’s lives.

“The WPI project-based curriculum’s focus on global studies brings students out of the classroom and their comfort zones and into the global community to apply their knowledge and to solve problems,” said Professor Kent Rissmiller, professor of Integrative & Global Studies and associate dean of The Global School. “Students are immersed in all aspects of a different culture, from the way people live and work to the values they hold to the foods they eat—all valuable perspectives for surviving and thriving in today’s global marketplace. They also learn the meaning and magic of teamwork; make a real and meaningful difference in their host community; and gain a competitive edge for any resume, or graduate or professional school application.”

Local student participates in Boston production

Emerson College student Callie Mayer of Los Gatos participated in the production of “Jelly’s Last Jam” on March 31 at the Semel Theater in Boston, Mass. 

The musical featured an all-Black cast, which was important to the director and co-executive producer Jasmine Hawkins, and music director and co-executive producer McKennen Campbell.

Written by George C. Wolfe in 1991, “Jelly’s Last Jam” follows the story of jazz pioneer Jelly Roll Morton. The performace begins with a recently deceased Jelly Roll who is conjured by a mysterious being named “Chimney Man” to relive his life. The story shares the joy, celebration, and contributions Black people have given to art.

Mayer is majoring in Theatre and Performance and is a member of the Class of 2026.

Los Gatans recognized by Belmont University

Two Los Gatos residents achieved Dean’s List recognition at Belmont University for the Spring 2023 semester.

They are:

• Henry Beamish

• Sophia Ramacciotti

Eligibility is based on a minimum course load of 12 hours and a quality grade point average of 3.5 with no grade below a C.

Belmont University is located in Nashville, Tenn.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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