For the first time in what seems like a lifetime, California budget projections are looking healthy. The first quarter of the states 2013 fiscal year has just concluded and California’s state budget is showing positive trends with general fund revenue for March exceeding Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget forecast by $254 million.
So far, the year-to-date revenues are slightly $5 billion above the forecast of $59.645 billion, records show. Employment and housing are helping to lead the way. After months of lagging behind the rest of the nation in economic recovery, California’s unemployment fell to 9.6% in February, its lowest in more than four years.
Recently, California was identified as the number two job creating state in the nation for 2012, trailing only Texas. It is estimated that California had a net job creation of 211,500 jobs last year. The good news is California managed to have overall job growth in all but two private-sector categories. Unfortunately, while the rest of the nation saw an increase in the number of manufacturing jobs, California saw a decrease in the number of its manufacturing jobs. Many of California’s manufacturing jobs were moved elsewhere, directly attributing to some of the growth other states saw.
Last June, California led the nation in job creation when Facebook and Zynga went on hiring binges helping boost California’s Professional and Business Service sector as the number one sector in job creation.
The top tree Categories were:
- Professional & Business Services: 90,800
- Education & Health Services: 48,800
- Trade, Transportation, Utilities: 42,000
Gains in construction and financial activities partly reflect an improving real estate sector. Home prices in the state rose for the 12th consecutive month. The median price of an existing single-family home sold in February was $333,880, an increase of 24 percent over the past year, according to the California Association of Realtors. High tech, tourism and international trade are also among the leading sectors.
Along with a loss of manufacturing jobs, California saw a loss of approximately 60,000 public sector employees as local and state government looked to reign in their budgets and avoid bankruptcy.
Hopefully, this is a sign of better things to come and a new and invigorated economic recovery in California.
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