Jump-starting job creation: What works?

Creating jobs during a recession is hard work.

Employers no doubt would love to hire back the people they have laid off.

But that will only happen if business picks up and employers gain confidence about the future."As a business owner, you aren't going to be hiring anybody if you don't have the revenue or the productivity to support that hiring," said Mark Plovnick, a management professor and director of economic development at the University of the Pacific in Stockton.

He was one of the people The Bee consulted in an effort to get to the fundamentals of job creation. Most of the others are regular readers who offered a range of ideas for putting people to work.

It's a significant question for people who have lost jobs in and near Stanislaus County, where the jobless rate was 13.6 percent in January -- and the February number to be released Thursday is likely to be much worse.Jobs come about in a few general ways. One is by turning an area's natural assets into useful products for the rest of the world, as the San Joaquin Valley long has done with its unrivaled farmland and food-processing industry.

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