The Legislative Analyst reports that the state budget is currently projected to have a $26 billion surplus, with the potential to grow as large as $40 billion by the end of the fiscal year.

While the strength of the budget is welcome news, the LAO’s projections do not expect employment to fully recover until 2025 or later. That is a bleak prospect for the many lower-wage workers and small businesses that have been sidelined by the governor’s actions in the current crisis.

It is a looming threat to the social fabric of our state, cementing in place a two-tiered economic structure that denies opportunity to those at the lower tier of the economic scale.

The time for promises and planning for equitable recovery is long past. Californians need definitive actions that will accelerate the return of jobs for all our workers and not just the higher-wage workers whose jobs are not affected by the governor’s actions.

Absent leadership on this critical issue, the state stands to lose a significant amount of its workforce to other states with lower costs of living and better employment opportunities, which would be yet another devastating blow to our economy.