The California Recovery: Deficits are gone, but how have we changed?

California’s budget deficits are gone, and the state has regained the number of jobs it lost during the Great Recession.

But what kind of jobs are coming back? A pair of articles look at the ways in which California’s economy is transforming, and the implications in the ongoing discussion over growing income inequality.

The Los Angeles Times reports , “The state has been among the slowest to recover jobs in an industry long viewed as a bastion of middle-class opportunity.

“Since February 2010, U.S. manufacturing employment has increased at a rate of 6.7%, with some Midwestern and Southern states such as Indiana and South Carolina seeing gains of 15% or more. By contrast, California manufacturing has grown at about 1% over the same period.

“That could hurt California’s middle-class workforce: Manufacturing is the classic path to higher paying jobs for less-educated workers. On average, manufacturing workers make 8.4% higher wages each week than those in all other industries combined, according to a 2012 Brookings Institution study.”

The Sacramento-based Grizzly Bear Project took the additional step of mapping California job patterns over the last decade, and offers a stark illustration of how good-paying manufacturing jobs are being replaced by lower-paid service industry work.

You can read the entire post and see the charts here.  


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