California has a powerful economy, with 14 million private-sector jobs. It also has burdens: welfare recipients (12.6 million), generously paid government employees (2.1 million) and people collecting government pensions (1.3 million). . . There are 114 clients drawing from the government for every 100 people chipping in by working outside the government and paying taxes. We’re calling this the Feedme Ratio. Six states have a number over 100.
Last week, the San Francisco Business Journal reported that Charles Schwab SCHW +0.34% is planning on moving “a significant number of San Francisco-based jobs” out of the state over the next three to five years. Charles Schwab’s San Francisco roots date back to its founding four decades ago, with the firm ranking as the 47th-largest employer in the Bay Area. The company employs almost 2,700 people in the region, and has a company-wide workforce of 13,600. Observers close to the situation blame the city’s extreme payroll tax and high cost of doing business in California as the reasons for the company’s exodus.
In the 1950s, one third of the American workforce was employed in the manufacturing industry; the economy not only supported manufacturing jobs, it thrived on the power of this sector. Since then, U.S. manufacturing has been in a sharp decline as overseas production has become the dominant choice for American companies. Since 2000, the U.S. has seen 5.8 million manufacturing jobs shift overseas.
Our eighth annual Best States for Business ranking measures six vital categories for businesses: costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life. We factor in 35 points of data to determine the ranks across the six main areas.
“Solar power itself is a good thing, but Germany’s pro-renewables policy has been a disaster. It has the absurd distinction of completing the trifecta of bad energy policy:
1. Bad for consumers
2. Bad for producers
3. Bad for the environment (yes, really; I’ll explain)
Pretty much the only people who benefit are affluent home-owners and solar panel installation companies. A rising tide of opposition and resentment is growing among the German press and public.”
The world’s biggest and most dynamic economy derives its strength and resilience from its geographic diversity. Economically, at least, America is not a single country. It is a collection of seven nations and three quasi-independent city-states, each with its own tastes, proclivities, resources and problems. These nations compete with one another–the Great Lakes loses factories to the Southeast, and talent flees the brutal winters and high taxes of the city-state New York for gentler climes–but, more important, they develop synergies, albeit unintentionally. Wealth generated in the humid South or icy northern plains benefits the rest of the country; energy flows from the Dakotas and the Third Coast of Texas and Louisiana; and even as people leave the Northeast, the brightest American children continue to migrate to this great education mecca, as well as those of other nations.
. . . measures six vital categories for businesses: costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life.
The latest edition of our list shows many things, but perhaps the most important is which cities have momentum in the job creation sweepstakes. Right now the biggest winners are the metro areas that are adding higher-wage jobs thanks to America’s two big boom sectors: technology and energy.
There has always been a certain level of competitiveness among the States. Of course, the football rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State is legendary. But, on a more serious note, economic competitiveness goes all the way back to colonial days.
Mark Schill of Praxis Strategy Group crunched the numbers for us to determine the changes in STEM employment from 2001 to 2012 in the 51 largest metropolitan statistical areas. Notably absent from our list of the 10 metro areas that enjoyed the strongest growth over that period: the country’s largest cities.