While surveys of business executives still rank California as one of the worst places to do business, the record on job creation has been bright in the Golden State over the last year. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that California led the nation over a twelve-month period ending January 31 creating 498,000 jobs. Part of the credit for this success goes to the California Chamber of Commerce’s effort to rally against bills that would hinder job creation and hurt the economy.
The annual effort is called the “job killers” campaign. It is worth considering how the positive job creation news would have fared without the CalChamber’s annual job killer campaign. Over the past four years, the Chamber has marked 129 bills as job killers. Only 8 of these measures have been signed into law. If many of the defeated bills passed would California’s job creation number be so strong?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, California created 100,000 more jobs than runner-up job creator, Texas, to which California is often compared as an economic rival. However, as Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters points out, the job gain in Texas was a 3.5-percent increase; in more populous California, the job increase represents a 3.2-percent gain. “A tie,” Walters declared.
California’s unemployment at 6.7-percent is still one of the highest in the nation. The national rate is 5.5-percent. More jobs are needed to help get many Californians out of poverty, with California leading the nation in that category.
Job creation in California has been uneven. Twenty counties still have double-digit unemployment while the hot job creation Bay Area counties have unemployment as low as 4–percent.
The Chamber’s goal is to keep business costs low to improve the economy statewide.
“Jobs in California’s high tech and health care sectors and along the coast are fueling our economy and this is good news, however, when one third of Californians are on Medi-Cal we need to enhance our efforts to improve the overall job picture,” said California Chamber of Commerce president Allan Zaremberg.
The job killer campaign is designed to educate lawmakers about the impact of proposed legislation on jobs and the economy. The success of the program has helped lead to the jobs boom.