News & Politics

Newsom's California Economy Is Back With a 'Whimper' Not a 'Roar'

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Despite Gov. Gavin Newsom’s repeated boasts that the California economy is “roaring back,” the numbers show the recovery is actually something of a much slower whimper.

According to the most recent jobs report, released Friday by the California Employment Development Department (EDD), “California’s unemployment rate held steady at 7.5% in September as the state’s employers added 47,400 non-farm payroll jobs.”

“Our economic recovery continues to make promising progress with 812,000 new jobs this year and regaining over 63% of those jobs we lost to the pandemic,” said Newsom in a statement on the September jobs report. “As we continue averaging record job creation, our work is more important than ever to get more Californians back on the job and support those hardest hit by the pandemic.”

Did you catch that? Even though California added some jobs in September, overall this means that since March of 2020 the state has only regained 1,723,800 (63.5%) of the 2,714,800 jobs that it lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. It also means California is now tied with Nevada as the nation’s state with the highest unemployment rate. California alone represents one-third of the overall unemployed in the U.S., but Newsom says that’s not the important takeaway from the report. He instead focuses on the few jobs created and “California’s 1.4 percent unemployment decrease from January 2021 through July 2021 [which ties it] with Rhode Island and Georgia as the sixth largest decrease among states over this period.” Can you hear that? It’s a whimper.

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Is California recovering? Yes, however, the recovery is at a much slower pace than Newsom boasts, and blue-state California’s economy is certainly not anywhere near its pre-pandemic lockdown levels—unlike the nation’s robust red-state recoveries. Newsom could learn a thing or twelve from the red states. As my PJ Media colleague Stacey Lennox reported, during the same time period, “Florida’s economy grew at three times the nation’s rate overall in September and added 84,500 total jobs, including nearly 73,000 in the private sector. September marks the 17th consecutive month of private-sector job growth. Florida has gained more than one million jobs since April 2020.” Now that’s roaring back.

One thing is clear; if Newsom really wanted to have a California economy that’s “ROARING back,” he would support ideas like a Gas Tax Holiday that lower the everyday cost of living for everyday Californians. Lowering expenses is a win-win that helps not only California’s lower-income citizens hit hardest by Newsom’s lockdowns but all Californians. Unfortunately for those of us still living in deep-blue California, since his recall election win, Newsom seems more resistant than ever to actually implementing anything that’s been even remotely successful in red-state America.