Since the beginning of this year, California has experienced 129 disinvestment events, an average of 5.4 per week. Comparing this year thus far with 2009, when the total was 51 events, essentially averaging 1 per week, our rate today is more than 5 times what it was then.
Hence, California is experiencing the fastest rate of disinvestment events based on public domain information, closure notices to the state, and information from affected employees in the three years since a specialized tracking system was put into place.
No one knows the real level of activity because smaller companies are not required to file layoff notices with the state. A conservative estimate is that only 1 out of 5 company departures becomes public knowledge, which means California may suffer more than 1,000 disinvestment events this year. The capital directed to out-of-state or out-of-country, while difficult to calculate, is nonetheless in the billions of dollars.
The top five destinations are (1) Texas, (2) Arizona, (3) Colorado, (4) Nevada and Utah tied; and (5) Virginia and North Carolina tied.
California is such fertile ground that representatives for economic development agencies are visiting companies to dissect our high taxes, extreme regulatory environment and other expenses to show annual savings of between 20 and 40 percent after an out-of-state move.
Such officials are traveling through the state to alert frustrated business owners and corporate executives to their friendlier business climate versus California’s hostility toward commercial enterprises.
Officials from 14 states are making such presentations, namely: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia – and Ohio is soon to be packing their bags for visits here. These are only the ones I know about; there may be others. Even the states that aren’t visiting are emailing, calling and sending letters to solicit California companies to move outright or select an out-of-state location when expanding.
Based on the legislature’s recent rejection of business-friendly legislation and Sacramento’s implementation of additional regulations, signs are that California’s hostility towards business will only worsen.
For details on each of the newest California disinvestment events, see this posting.