A reader asked for an update on the California economy and budget. This post is about the economy and the next post is about the budget.
The overall CA economy is participating in the painfully slow natioal economic recovery. In the past year and a half CA has slightly outpaced the nation in job growth despite no upturn in housing construction and losses in local governement and education jobs.
The Bay Area is leading CA job growth with a year over year gain of approximately 70,000 jobs or 2.2% compared to the national gain of 1.4%. Job growth in the San Jose metro area including Palo Alto is even higher (3.3%) driven by gains in technology sectors. The state uenmployment rate is at 10.9% (still 3rd highest among all states) but down from a peak of 12.4%.
Local unemployment rates have come down more at 8.2% in Santa Clara, 7.8% in San Mateo and 7.4% in San Francisco.
Other areas in the state with the exception of Orange County are not faring as well although all areas are now in recovery.
Exports are at record levels and the housing market is beginning to stabilize. Local markets are doing better as witness the strong demand for downtown commerical space and multiple offers on some homes in Palo Alto once again.
The state economy is connected to the national economy, events in Europe and the Pacific Rim and to the continuing gridlock in state and national politics.
Economic growth will remain modest until these world, national and state issues see progress.
More in the following posts.