Region: California
California State Controller Betty T. Yee today issued the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015, showing that a resurgent economy led to a $29.6 billion increase in revenues in the 2014-15 fiscal year. While spending and transfers also went up, the increases were not enough to offset the additional revenue, resulting in a $13.1 billion improvement in governmental activities’ net position. . . This CAFR incorporates major changes to reflect the state’s net pension liability. Based on guidance from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), the new figure more accurately reflects a government's unfunded pension obligation, helping policymakers decide on future funding strategies. Using these standards, the CAFR reports a net pension liability of $63.7 billion as of June 30, 2015.
California's current housing market suffers from a shortage of supply and the lingering effects of the housing crash and the Great Recession. California currently ranks near the bottom in terms of its supply of housing relative to population growth. Add that to the increasing demand to live near the coast, to be close to tech hubs, and to be near downtowns, and it's not too surprising that home prices throughout the state continue to rise. Additionally, the cost of development and stringent regulations imposed on developers has contributed to the lack of homebuilding in California.
In recent years, California has experienced negative domestic migration, meaning more people are moving from California to other states than the number of residents moving to California from other parts of the country. Statistics on the characteristics of California's inbound and outbound migrants suggest patterns in migration over the past decade are more related to housing costs than tax structure.
The report finds that many new jobs in California are in low-wage industries, and the post-recession period favored low-wage job growth over middle-wage and high-wage job growth throughout the state by a wide margin. However, when compared with the rest of the nation, the trend of low-wage job creation is not unique to California.
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