Fact from Hype: California Economic Numbers

June 17, 2015

California’s economy has maintained strong momentum through the first few months of 2015,
even though the state continues to be affected by a whole host of challenges ranging from the
unending drought to work stoppages at its major ports. The rising value of the U.S. dollar and
slowing economic growth in China and much of the developing world are also weighing on
growth. Despite these challenges, most measures of economic activity show that California’s
economy continues to charge ahead. The Golden State has added 475,000 net new jobs over the
past year, and the unemployment rate has tumbled 1.5 percentage points to 6.3 percent. Income
growth has also picked up and state tax receipts are running well ahead of expectations.

The Golden State’s strong economic performance comes as a surprise to much of the nation,
which continues to be fed a near endless stream of negative feedback on the state. While
California faces considerable challenges, businesses have been adding jobs at a faster pace in
California than they have nationwide for the past 38 months. New business startups are also
trending higher, and venture capital continues to flow into the state in greater quantities than
anyplace in the world. None of this minimizes the damage that the fourth year of drought has
brought to the state. While the drought is a serious challenge, it also presents an opportunity for
California to take the lead in an area that will become an even larger challenge for the nation in
the coming years.

(via Wells Fargo Economics Group)