Business, Jobs & Labor Market

Listed below are government resources available to help with your job search and with starting and maintaining a business.  The library periodically offers job searching workshops and business development seminars so make sure to check the OPL calendar regularly for upcoming programs.

Job Searching & Labor Market

U.S. Department of Labor Job Statistics

The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes a large amount of information on employment and wages by occupation, including career information, employment levels and projections, and various types of earnings data. This page links to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, Career Outlook, and pages on occupational employment statistics, wages by area and occupation, employment projections, and injuries, illnesses and fatalities.

California EDD Quick Statistics Overview

This page contains links to the more frequently accessed Educational Development Department (EDD) data and statistics, including data on the various EDD programs such as Unemployment Insurance, Disability/Paid Family Leave Insurance, Job Services, Labor Market Information, and Payroll Taxes.

CalJOBS from the California Employment Development Department

This is another great place to start when looking for employment. The site provides information for all job seekers and is organized by categories such as Older Workers, People with Disabilities, Veterans, and Youth. 

The Job Seeker Information link provides access to an Online Job Center which lists various job fairs and workshops to help you with your job search.  Computer classes are also listed in this section.  The Online Job Center lists job openings and allows you to search by state, company name, and area of interest.  You will also find resume tools to help with your resume, links to salary information, and information for filing unemployment claims.

To search for jobs

  • Click on Job Seekers on the left side of the page.
  • Click on Online Job Center (highlighted in blue). 
  • Scroll down to Find a Job, then click on Job Central.  If you’d like to search jobs by state, click on this link in the Job Seekers box.  This will lead to a map of the United States.
  • Click on California or whichever state you’d like to search.  This will take you to a page of Major Metropolitan areas.
  • Click on the city where you’d like to work.  This will tell you which companies are recruiting in your particular area. You will also see a link to other resources for the city you selected.  This is where you will find individual job listings. 
  • If you are searching in Oakland, click on


This site is maintained by the State of California Employment Development Department and provides information on jobs by region, average salaries by job and much more.  This is a good site to search if you’re trying to determine what type of job is best for you.

To explore career options:

  • Click on the Find a Job tab.  This will take you to a section where you can take a self-assessment, explore how much money you need to make to maintain your lifestyle, and explore career options searching the California Occupational Guides.  You may also access the Green Occupational Guides from this section.

Jobs with the Federal Government

This site lists jobs available with the federal government.  You can search by Job Title, Agency Name and/or Salary Range, and Location.  Click on the Advanced Search button to begin searching and fill out the information that best matches your job needs.

Starting and Running a Business

Alameda County Small Business Development Center (ACSBDC)

The ACSBDC offers free counseling and a variety of business seminars throughout the East Bay to help you start and maintain your business.  Many of the classes offered through the Oakland Business Assistance Center are provided by the Alameda County Small Business Development Center.  The website also contains information on obtaining licenses and permits, sample business plans and tips for writing your own plans, hiring employees, business forms, insurance, taxes, and marketing.  From the home page, click on Business Topics for all this information and more.

Oakland Business Assistance Center

The Oakland Business Assistance Center is a one-stop information and referral center for business owners and those wishing to start a business in Oakland, California. This site contains a wealth of information, including information about free workshops, classes, and events to help you start and maintain your business.

The physical center is located at 270 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. The center has a computer available for doing business research and full-time staff members are available to help navigate city government and to provide referrals to help current and prospective business owners.

To learn more about starting your own business:

  • Click on Starting a New Business on the left side of the home page. 
  • Next click on Decide if Your Are Ready to Start a Business to take an Assessment test provided by the Small Business Administration. 
  • If you want to learn more about markets for your business click on Starting a New Business.
  • Then click on Determine if There is a Market for Your Business.  If you scroll to the bottom of this page you will also find a link to Useful Resources at Oakland Public Library.

To find business plans:

  • Click on Starting a New Business.
  • Click on Plan Your Business.
  • Click on Business Plan Templates.  This will lead you to the Small Business Administration’s website where you will find business plan templates and instructions. 

To find information about obtaining an Oakland business license:

  • Click on Starting a New Business and scroll down to Get an Oakland Business License.

The physical center is located at 270 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza.  The center has a computer available for doing business research and full-time staff members are available to help navigate city government and to provide referrals to help business owners and prospective business owners.

IRS: Small Business and Self-Employment One Stop Resource

This website has a lot of information for helping you to start and manage a business and to find resources for business taxes.  The link above will take you to the Small Business and Self Employed Tax Center where you will find forms and publications for taxes and tax information for starting, operating, and closing a business.  You can find numerous videos and podcasts to help you better understand business taxes in the IRS Video Portal. To access business videos on the portal click on IRS Video Portal in the Online Learning section, then on the Businesses tab. The various topics covered are listed in the menu on the left, including The Small Biz Workshop, a series of nine interactive lessons to help small business owners understand their tax rights and responsibilities. 

More information can be found by searching for Starting a Business on the IRS homepage, The search results will link you to pages where you can take a short survey to determine if you’re ready to start a business and a checklist to help you with your business planning among many other resources.

Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is another great resource to help you with your business planning. Hover over sections on planning, launching, managing, and growing your business to see links for help with writing a business plan, securing SBA backed loans and grants, hiring employees, and importing and exporting. Additionally, the SBA has numerous online courses that you can access through the Learning Center tab at the top of the page.

The SBA also has a quick Readiness Assessment for you to use and see if you're ready to start your business.

To use the Loans and Grants Search Tool to determine if you qualify for grants:

  •  Click on the Loans and Grants tab near the top of the page.
  • Scroll down to the Grants section.
  • Click on Find Grants. 
  • Answer the questions in the Loans and Grants Search Tool, making sure to use the drop down menus to choose an Industry and State where requested, then click Search. 
  • Your results will appear under the Business Loans, Grants and Financing Results near the top of the page.  

California State Contracts Register

This site allows you to view bidding opportunities in California and to view statewide contracts and a list of certified firms.

To search for bidding opportunities:

  • Click on the Bidding Opportunities Tab.  This will lead you to a drop-down list of options. 
  • Click on View CSCR Ads to view a list of current bids for California. 
  • If you’re interested in bidding opportunities in other states, search the drop-down menu on the left of the page below the sections Title and Description and Bid #.  The menu defaults to California, but if you click on the arrow you can select other states. 

The site allows you to view bids from 2003-present.

Contracting with the Federal Government

This site provides the information you need for contracting with the federal government and has many tutorials available within the site.  Click on the Getting Started tab to access videos that explain the site.  After clicking on this tab, a good place to start is with the General Overview and Searching for Opportunities link.  This will take you to a Vendors Training Session tutorial which explains how to best use the site and search for opportunities.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance lists all of the federal programs available to state and local governments, organizations, institutions, groups, and individuals. 

To search the database:

  • Click on the Program tab.
  • Click on Advanced Search to search by Assistance Type, Eligibility and/or Deadline.  For example, if you’d like to search for a direct loan for your small business in the area of food and nutrition, click on the arrow in the box under Assistance Types for the drop-down menu. 
  • From the menu, choose Direct Loans. 
  • Then click on the arrow in the box under Applicant Eligibility and choose Small Business.
  • Finally, click on the arrow in the box under Use of Assistance and choose Food and Nutrition.
  • Then scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and click on Search. 
  • This will give you a listing of programs providing the type of assistance you selected. 
  • To learn more about the program, click on the magnifying glass icon. 
  • You may also click on the empty box to save your selection(s) to excel.

The Main Library has a print copy of the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance in the Ready Reference section.  Please ask a librarian for assistance.

EDGAR (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) Database

The Securities and Exchange Commission requires quarterly and various filings from companies doing business in the United States.  You can access these filings free of charge in the EDGAR website.  Click on Search Company Filings, then enter the name of the company for which you would like information.

You will also find an EDGAR tutorial at the above address, which will give you tips for searching the site.