Economy: Database reveals bright spots, problem areas

Feb 25, 2013

Recent forecasts for the California economy may be more optimistic than warranted, according to a new report by UC Irvine economists.

In fact, says co-author David Neumark, there are clouds on the horizon. California's has grown at an average pace over the past 20 years, but the state has experienced slower overall job growth and higher than most others.

These findings and additional economic comparisons are available in a free interactive database at Compare50.org. The project points to key areas in which the Golden State's economic performance comes up short.

"Debate about appropriate economic policies has to be based, first and foremost, on a solid foundation about the comparative economic performance of the state," says Neumark, UC Irvine Chancellor's Professor of economics and Center for Economics & Public Policy director. "The Compare50 database provides policymakers, journalists and others an easy-to-use tool."

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

Supported by the nonprofit Next 10 foundation, Neumark and economics graduate student Jennifer Muz compiled data on fundamental economic measures—including economic growth, job growth, layoffs and unemployment, earnings, income distribution and poverty—from 1990 to 2011 for all 50 states.

Sources included the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages and Current Population Survey.

"It's important to look at California's status in comparison to other states, rather than in a vacuum, to get an idea of what's happened and where we should focus policy efforts," Neumark says.

Job growth, for example, lags relative to other states, which is worrisome for reducing unemployment in the long term, he said. Gross state product, or income, was a bright spot. California's per capita real growth was slightly higher than the U.S. as a whole and appears to be on the rise.

"The fact that economic growth is outstripping suggests that the state is successfully adding high-wage , while opportunities for low-skilled workers may be declining," Neumark notes.

"We hope our data will be used to generate new hypotheses or explanations regarding state economic performance and identify problem areas policymakers may want to address, as well as those areas where good suggests that policy changes are not needed," he says.

Explore further: Online retailers have clear advantage by not collecting sales tax

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

California economic climate sunnier than thought

May 19, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Location, location, location. That's what UC Irvine economics professor David Neumark says is key to understanding how California's economy has managed to stay in line with or surpass the national growth ...

Recommended for you

Which foods may cost you more due to Calif. drought

Apr 17, 2014

With California experiencing one of its worst droughts on record, grocery shoppers across the country can expect to see a short supply of certain fruits and vegetables in stores, and to pay higher prices ...

Performance measures for CEOs vary greatly, study finds

Apr 16, 2014

As companies file their annual proxy statements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) this spring, a new study by Rice University and Cornell University shows just how S&P 500 companies have ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Math modeling handbook now available

Math comes in handy for answering questions about a variety of topics, from calculating the cost-effectiveness of fuel sources and determining the best regions to build high-speed rail to predicting the spread ...

Male-biased tweeting

Today women take an active part in public life. Without a doubt, they also converse with other women. In fact, they even talk to each other about other things besides men. As banal as it sounds, this is far ...

Archaeologists, tribe clash over Native remains

Archaeologists and Native Americans are clashing over Indian remains and artifacts that were excavated during a construction project in the San Francisco Bay Area, but then reburied at an undisclosed location.

Amazon Prime wins streaming deal with HBO

Amazon scored a deal Wednesday to distribute old shows from premium cable TV channel HBO to its monthly Prime subscribers, landing a blow on rival Netflix in the streaming video battle.