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Optimism (and employment) wanes for California's future

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Jan. 7, 2010

California plunged again last month in high wage manufacturing employment by 2,300 jobs.  The national media continues to single out California, using it as a narrative blueprint for how to overwhelm a once-thriving state economy, and almost dares anyone to bet on California's recovery.

For these and many other reasons this legislative session could be the most important year of decisions in the state's 160-year history.  Policymakers are no doubt giving lip service to ground zero -- growing jobs and the economy --  but there is little precedent in California for climbing out of such a monumental hole.

The following chart and media excerpts should inform the discussions when decision (and vote) time comes.  Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made job creation a priority in his State of the State address but as CMTA president Jack Stewart said, "The Governor was right that job creation should be our number one priority and we applaud his commitment. However, we don't share his optimism that the worst is over for the California economy and that we are well positioned to take advantage of the future."  (full statement)


Employment Chart

Some recent national and other media coverage on California:

»Investor's Daily
California Should Copy Texas
"While Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger worries about rising seas, his state sinks below the waves. Don't mess with Texas, they say. But California and the nation could follow its lead.
Full article

»Washington Examiner
California is overregulated, overtaxed, and just plain over
"Today, California is a by-the-numbers state tragedy. Unemployment is higher than 12.2 percent as of September. Business costs are almost 23 percent higher than other states on average. Migration out of the state is at an all time high. A map by United Van Lines shows a strong demand for moving trucks as residents leave California for other destinations, particularly Texas."
Full article

»New Geography
A Milestone on the Road to Becoming a Third-World Economy
"Southern California is starting to look a lot like a third-world economy, service based, inequitable, serving a wealthy, mostly aging few, with little opportunity for younger workers and a large underclass. Changing the region’s prospects will be very difficult. Nothing short of a major generational change in leadership is likely to change the current sad trajectory."
Full article

»New Geography
How California Went From Top of the Class to the Bottom
Today, California’s economy is not vibrant and growing. Housing is not affordable. There is little opportunity. Inequality is increasing. The state’s schools, including the once-mighty University of California, are declining. The agricultural sector is threatened by water shortages and regulation. Its aging, cracking, highways are unable to handle today’s demands. California’s power system is archaic and expensive. The entire state infrastructure is out of date, in decline, and unable to meet the demands of a 21st century economy.  Indications of California’s decline are everywhere. California’s share of United States jobs peaked at 11.4 percent in 1990. Today, it is down to 10.9 percent. In this recession, California has been losing jobs at a faster pace than most of the United States. Domestic migration has been negative in 10 of the past 15 years. People are leaving California for places like Texas, places with opportunity and affordable family housing.  California’s economy is declining. Those of us who live here can all see it. Yet, Californians don’t have the will to make the necessary changes. Like a punch-drunk fighter, sitting helpless in the corner, California is unable to answer the bell for a new round.
Full article

»Las Vegas Business Press
Some of the city's best-known business leaders sound off about the coming year
"Once California companies can afford to move, they will move in droves due to the even worse business climate in that state."
Full article

»New York Times
Schwarzenegger Presses U.S. for More Aid for Needy California
"Administration officials, in preliminary discussions with state lawmakers and other Sacramento officials on how to close a projected $20.7 billion deficit, were pledging to push hard for as much as $8 billion from the federal government."
Full article

»Rasmussen Report
55% Say Better for California To Go Bankrupt Than Be Bailed Out
Full article

»Americans for Prosperity's Common Sense video
12 policies where common sense was missing in California
You tube video

»Bakersfield Press
Talk won't undo years of bad decisions
"Bad decisions made in Sacramento in recent years help explain why California's prospects for a timely economic recovery are looking considerably worse than that of other states. Those decisions also help explain why California is the most expensive place in the nation to do business."
Full article

»San Bernardino Sun - opinion by business owner, Joseph Brady
State regulations choking businesses
"I believe that the state of California is at a major crossroads. I believe that we have members of the Legislature who have never operated a business, made a payroll or taken a risk."
Full article



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