CONSUMER CATCH-UP: EDD announces new grants for job training, temporary work; residents would move if allowed to work from home, and more

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- California EDD announces new grants for job training, temporary work
(Original reporting by Randall Yip.)

Nearly 2,600 out-of-work Californians will receive job training services and another 600 will be hired for temporary work under a new $23 million grant announced Friday by the state.

Applicants who will receive the highest considerations are those unlikely to return to their previous occupations.

Services will include training, subsidized employment and job placement. 600 will be hired to fill temporary positions need to attack the pandemic. Job opportunities include clean-up and sanitation of public spaces, as well as providing humanitarian aid.

The money comes through the Department of Labor and is meant to address the Coronavirus impact on the state's workforce.

To apply for jobs or training, you can contact and register at your local America's Job Center of California.

Half of San Franciscans would consider moving away if allowed to work from home

A new survey says just over half of San Francisco workers would consider moving away if they're allowed to continue working from home.

Redfin, a technology-powered real estate brokerage, conducted a survey to see how work-from-home policies put in place during the coronavirus pandemic are changing how people view where they live. The survey found that 4 out of 10 workers were not working from home pre-pandemic, but are successfully doing so now. 28% of those people said they expected to be able to continue working from home after the pandemic.

Respondents in large cities are open to the option of moving elsewhere after the pandemic if they can continue working remotely. More than 60% of New Yorkers said they'd consider moving; slightly more than 50% of those in San Francisco, Boston, and Seattle said the same.

"Redfin is preparing for a seismic demographic shift toward smaller cities," said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. "Prior to this pandemic, the housing affordability crisis was already driving people from large cities to small. Now, more permissive policies around remote work, and a rising wariness about close quarters, will likely accelerate that trend."

U.S. retail sales down 16.4%

The U.S. Department of Commerce has released its monthly report on retail sales -- and sales have dropped by 16.4% across the board.

Although the percentage of people online shopping has gone up, the coronavirus pandemic has still dramatically slowed retail sales overall. Brick-and-mortar stores are closed (some permanently) or are operating in a limited capacity, and consumers have been spending less out of concerns about the economic downturn.

The hardest hit categories were clothiers (down 89% from the previous year), furniture stores (down 67%), and electronics stores (down 65%).

Video game sales have record-breaking Q1

Video game sales have hit an all-time record -- thanks to folks staying at home and gaming.

According to new numbers released by the NPD Group, a data and analytics company, first quarter 2020 saw the video game industry take in $10.86 billion, a 9% increase over last year. $9.58 billion of that was from video game content alone, an 11% increase.

"Video Games have brought comfort and connection to millions during this challenging time," said Mat Piscatella, games industry analyst at The NPD Group. "As people have stayed at home more, they've utilized gaming not only as a diversion and an escape, but also as a means of staying connected with family and friends."

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