The California Business Roundtable’s monthly report on the state’s employment situation feels like a Jackson Pollock painting with bright colors here, dark spots there while containing hints to why the state’s political power resides where it does.

The Roundtable’s California Center for Jobs and the Economy reports the state’s unemployment rate is 5.4% in June, an uptick of .2% from May. While California ranked first in job creation from June 2015 to June 2016 with 388,211 jobs created (Texas is second with 234,004), California ranks only 22nd when the job creation is calculated as a percentage change. Employment growth per 1000 population California is 21st.

While job gains in the fields of Accommodations, Food Services and Health Care lead the list, job losses are most in the good paying fields of manufacturing and construction as seen in the accompanying chart.

change_in_jobs_june_2016Where the jobs strengths are located coordinates to where the political power in the state resides. Remember senatorial candidate and congresswoman Loretta Sanchez telling supporters that her opponent Kamala Harris comes from the Bay Area and that “they control everything, so we’re trying to beat them.”

Perhaps that political strength follows economic power. Most of the state’s constitutional officers come from Northern California. Only recently did the both the leadership posts in the Senate and Assembly come to Southern Californians at the same time.

Powered by the tech industry, the Bay Area is the strongest employment area in the. state. Unemployment in the Bay Area is 4.2%. In the Central Valley, unemployment soars to 9.7%. The share of employment gains compared to population is shown in the nearby chart.


The Bay Area’s political and economic power often represents California to the world. However, another California exists when you read the Center’s employment analysis.

Of the 10 Metropolitan Statistical Areas with the worst unemployment in the nation, 8 are in California: Fresno, Madera, Yuba City, Hanford-Corcoran, Visalia-Porterville, Bakersfield, Merced, and El Centro.

It seems jobs and political power goes hand in hand.