California leads nation in unemployment after slower job growth than anticipated

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California now has the highest unemployment in the nation, after new data revealed that job growth in the Golden State was much lower in 2023 than previously believed.

Data from the state Employment Development Department indicates California reached 5.3% unemployment last month. 

Meanwhile, federal data showed that California added just 50,000 jobs between September 2022 and September 2023, far less than the 300,000 initially shown. 

California lost 2.7 million jobs at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s draconian stay-at-home order that forced many businesses to close. Since then, the state has added 3 million jobs, per the EDD. 

The economic slowdown has affected that state’s budget. For the second year in a row, California is facing a multibillion-dollar deficit. The Newsom administration reported the deficit was $37.9 billion in January. But the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office believes it could be as high as $73 billion.

US ECONOMY ADDS 275,000 JOBS IN FEBRUARY, UNEMPLOYMENT RATE TICKS HIGHER

FOX Business has reached out to the governor’s office for a response to these figures. 

“Who would have guessed that high taxes, expensive energy and rampant crime are bad for the economy? California workers are dealing with the consequences of Newsom’s far-left agenda,” California Assembly Leader James Gallagher told FOX Business in a statement. “If Democrats don’t stop punishing job creators and rewarding criminals, things are only going to get worse.” 

Democrat California Gov. Gavin Newsom

Meanwhile, in Florida and Texas – two conservative states often juxtaposed with California’s progressive policies – unemployment hovered under 4% in February. 

Between September 2022 and September 2023, Texas added nearly 340,000 new jobs while Florida added more than 235,000. 

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Last legislative session, Texas lawmakers had a record $32 billion surplus. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said the state may go into the next legislative session with an estimated $20 billion budget surplus. This year’s budget for Florida includes a $14.6 billion surplus, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office. 

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