Capitol Alert: Census Bureau charts ups and downs in California's economy

06/12/2014 10:33 AM

06/12/2014 10:40 AM

The rise, fall and recovery of California's economy - and its changing nature - are graphically displayed in a new Census Bureau tool.

The interactive website charts business patterns - the number of businesses, the type of businesses, their payroll costs and numbers of employees - and allows comparisons from state-to-state, as well as county-to-county within each state.

The tool reveals, for instance, that in 2002, manufacturing was the state's largest private economic sector by employment, with 1.6 million workers, but by 2012, factory employment had fallen to 1.1 million. It has been surpassed by health care, with 1.7 million workers, up from 1.4 million a decade earlier.

Overall private employment remained virtually static during the 10-year period, rising from 12,856,426 in 2002 to 12,953,818 in 2012.

However, it had been as high as 13,824,264 in 2006, just before a severe recession struck the state, and fell as low as 12,536,402 in 2010 before recovery began. Meanwhile, the state's population increased by about 3 million during the 10-year period.

The number of businesses also rose and fell during the period, from 820,997 in 2002 to 891,997 in 2007, then declining sharply during the recession but recovering to 864,913 in 2012.

Annual private payrolls in the state increased from $510.8 billion in 2002 to $700.1 billion in 2012.

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