California's Economy: Getting Back on Track
Revitalizing our State for all Californians
Californians can certainly be proud of statistics like these: California’s economy is the largest in the United States and the eighth largest in the world. An amazing fifty-seven Fortune 500 companies are headquartered within the state’s borders.
However, these figures overlook today’s challenges. The growth of California’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which stood at 3.1 percent in 2006, fell to 0.4 percent by 2008. The unemployment rate is now 12.3 percent. And the economic growth that is now burgeoning is, as of yet, confined to the state’s coastal areas.
As chair of the California Commission for Economic Development, your next Lieutenant Governor will have tremendous influence over the future of California’s economy. And in that capacity, Gavin will fight to make sure that a revitalized California will benefit all Californians – those working in every sector of the state’s economy.
It is absolutely essential that California remain an attractive place to do business. Gavin believes, however, that it is equally important that the success of California’s businesses help all of the participants in the state’s economy. Contrary to the rhetoric, very few businesses and the jobs they represent are fleeing California for other states. California’s resources are unique; from the availability of capital to the outstanding skill of the state’s workforce, and from the productivity of California’s workers to its plentiful natural resources, the Golden State is an incubator for entrepreneurs and for emerging industries.
Gavin will not sit idly by and simply hope that these factors that make California a wonderful place to live, work, and start a business will, in turn, foster the kind of economy that can compete globally in the 21st century. Gavin believes that California must continue its historical dominance in high-tech industries and must build a clean-tech industry that will be the envy of the world. State government can and should be a partner to industry to make this happen.
California’s incentivizing of the clean-tech industry has already exerted positive effects on the larger economy. For instance:
- Over the past 35 years, California’s energy efficiency policies have created 1.5 million jobs, generating $45 billion in payroll;
- Since 2005, statewide green jobs have grown at a rate ten times faster than total job growth;
- In 2008, clean-tech venture capital investment in California hit $3.3 billion, fully 57 percent of the nation’s total.
Gavin firmly believes these are trends that must be continued. Clean energy has the potential to be one of the largest job-creating industries of the coming decades, and coherent governmental policies will sustain the type of job and investment growth needed for California to become a global player in clean-tech.
Clean-tech is, of course, just one example sector of the national and global economy in which California has taken an early lead, a lead that must be nourished by governmental policy. As your next Lieutenant Governor, Gavin’s number one priority will be to jump-start the California economy in a way that can be sustained well into the future – a recovery that will reward all Californians.
Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Record of Accomplishment on the Economy
Mayor Newsom implemented a local economic stimulus plan, calling for action beyond federal recovery funding, including plans to:
- Accelerate capital spending;
- Invest in local businesses;
- Reduce burdens that local government places on local businesses;
- Support the workforce to attract foreign investment into San Francisco;
- San Francisco began a $4.3 billion project to rebuild the region’s water infrastructure and a $383 million renovation to San Francisco International Airport;
- In May 2009, Mayor Newsom launched JOBS NOW!, a subsidized employment program funded through federal stimulus money. Through this program, 3,820 San Franciscans with dependent children have been put back to work;
- Under Mayor Newsom’s leadership, San Francisco consolidated citywide workforce development policy and programs under the Director of Workforce Development within the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. The priorities of the newly aligned department include: coordinating workforce development activities to support viable industries, investing in skill development, and providing training to disadvantaged residents to seek training and employment;
- Citybuild Academy was launched in 2006 and has since held nine training academies and placed 1,123 graduates and other workers onto public and private construction projects. A Green Academy is being launched in the near future to train and place low income residents into jobs in the fields of solar, green building, energy efficiency, and recycling;
- In November 2007, 59% of voters approved Measure I to establish a center to help small businesses in the city. In May 2008, the Small Business Assistance Center (SBAC) officially opened its doors as a major milestone for the small business community of San Francisco. Since its launch, the SBAC has served nearly 3,000 clients. Sixty-five percent of the cases are businesses that need start-up assistance and the other thirty-five percent are existing businesses needing assistance.