Growth in Tribal Employment Nears 20 Percent

Press Release
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Growth in Tribal Employment Nears 20 Percent

August 12, 2003

California tribal government employment grew by 17.8 percent for the year ending July 2003, far surpassing all other private or public sector employers in the state, California Employment Development Department figures show.

Tribal employment grew by 2.5 percent in July, according to CDD figures, a month which saw the state lose 21,800 jobs, sending the payroll statewide to its lowest level since the job market began sliding more than two years ago.

With the exception of tribal governments, virtually every sector posted losses, including retailing, transportation, manufacturing and business services.

“It’s clear to see that tribal governments are contributing jobs and prosperity to the state of California at a time it is needed the most,” says Brenda Soulliere, chairwoman of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association.

“Tribes are proud of what they are providing in the way of jobs and economic development, and it’s important to note that it is being accomplished without a dime of taxpayers’ money.”
Tribal governments employ 40,300 workers, according to the EDD, a figure that has risen dramatically since tribal-state gaming compacts were approved in 1999. About 90 percent of the workers are non-Indians.

Much of the growth in employment is attributed to the evolution of tribal government gaming operations from stand-alone casinos to resorts with hotels and other amenities.

“The growth in tribal government employment is likely to continue for the foreseeable future,” says CNIGA Executive Director Jacob Coin, “generating economic development and creating jobs for Indians and residents of the surrounding communities.”

Employment figures can be obtained at: https://www.calmis.ca.gov/file/lfmonth/cal$pr.txt.

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