Here’s an astounding fact. Since the recovery started in 2009, California businesses have created 1.5 million new private sector jobs. That puts California number one in private sector job creation among all states, slightly ahead of second place Texas, and more than double that of third place Florida. Moreover, total job creation in California since 2009 exceeds that of Germany, Europe’s largest and most successful economy.
How can this spectacular performance be explained? The answer: creativity and innovation. Since 2009, the Golden State’s economy has ridden the power of the sizzling tech/info revolution. From mobile to social media, to online video and the Internet of Things, California-based companies are leading the way.
This paper has two main goals. First, we document how the tech/info boom is helping propel the California economy. We carefully define the tech/info sector, building on our previous studies of California and other tech hubs around the world. We then show that the tech/info sector has directly accounted for more than 30% of the increase in real wage payments in California. These gains have boosted tax revenues and helped California run a budget surplus. In addition, the strong growth in California’s tech/info sector has translated into faster non-tech job growth than the rest of the country.