California Knocks Texas Off Its Job-Creation Perch
If you’re like us, your St. Patty’s Day began with you being awakened by a smartphone screaming you’d received an email from your editor containing the subject line “FEDS: CA #1 in Jobs” and the greeting, “WHAT?”
And a good morning to you, Mr. Dooley.
What the email referred to was the fact that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics had just released its revised job creation numbers for 2014 and, lo and behold, California not only ranked first with 498,000 but that number was a whopping 105,000 more than the No. 2 state, Texas (392,900).
The editor’s incredulity was directed at the fact that California, harder hit by the Great Recession and slower to recover, has not exactly been seen as the friendliest state toward business. But the reason the Golden State ranks first is quite simple since the list is based on total numbers created. It’s not surprising that the nation’s most populous state would top it as it is not surprising that the top four spots were filled by the four largest states—California, Texas, Florida (274,100) and New York (157, 700).
What is notable is that the fifth spot is actually filled by the eighth largest state. Good on ya, Georgia (131,900).
The number that bears the most attention belongs to Texas which has ruled this list for years. But like other top-producing oil states, Texas has been injured by a drop in crude prices of more than 50 percent resulting in cuts of tens of thousands of jobs over the past year. That’s bad news. The worse news is that there is no end in sight, as prices stay low and the U.S. is fast approaching full capacity for oil reserves.
As a result, 2015 started out no better than 2014 ended for Texas. Its oil industry lost 3,400 jobs in January, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. Perhaps more disturbing is how those losses are beginning to effect other areas of the economy. The impact of low oil prices was cited as the cause for an additional 1,100 jobs lost in “other services.” Even when Texas wins—an addition of 400 construction jobs in January—it loses. That 400 was way down from 5,100 construction jobs added in December.