(Editor’s Note: Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable, issued the following statement in response to the governor’s annual State of the State address.)

In regard to the governor’s message on the improved economy, we want to provide additional facts:

The jobs we gained back after the recession are not the same as we had before. Job growth has been almost exclusively in the very high and very low wage jobs, with very little growth in critical middle-class jobs.

Forty-five percent of the net employment growth since the recession has been in the Bay Area, while interior regions retain the worst unemployment rates in the nation.  As the governor acknowledged in his budget proposal, this two-tiered economy is dangerous to the future economic solvency of our state and cannot be ignored by the state policymakers.

Far too few Californians can afford to buy a house, and as this crisis gets worse, even renting has become out of reach for many. Regulatory barriers have stalled housing projects throughout the state and regulatory requirements continue to add to the finished price, driving up housing costs especially for the middle-class.

California has some of the most progressive and multi-layered environmental policies, but as a result, California residents and businesses also pay some of the highest fuel prices and electricity costs in the nation.

In setting the agenda for this year, we all celebrate that California is unique. But in our celebration, we must address the unique economic challenges that face our state and its residents.