California’s lagging and uneven economy is leaving millions of people behind. This isn’t the election year spin coming from members of the Ruling Party in Sacramento, but it’s the harsh economic reality being produced by their policies.
Our state’s high 7.6% unemployment rate is well above the national average of 6.3%, and even worse when compared to the 5.1% rate in Texas, California’s toughest economic competitor. These aren’t just numbers: every percentage point means hundreds of thousands of more Californians who are out of work and struggling.
Many Californians have given up looking for work altogether, a fact reflected in what is called the Labor Force Participation Rate, which measures the number of people who can work and are actually in the labor market. The unemployment rate doesn’t take into account those workers who are no longer seeking work. California’s rate is only 61.8%, the lowest in 38 years and 1 point worse than the national rate.
What little statewide improvement we see in joblessness isn’t statewide improvement at all: Silicon Valley is doing well, and the counties with the lowest unemployment rates are found mostly in the Bay Area, plus Orange County and San Diego. Elsewhere, the situation ranges from mediocre to grim.
In Northern California, unemployment in San Francisco is just 4.4%. Yet, less than 100 miles away in Colusa County, people are plagued with a staggering level of joblessness: 19.8%. We see the same stark contrast in Southern California. In San Diego County, joblessness is at 6%, yet neighboring Imperial County has one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates at 21.6%.
While our friends on the left focus much of their rhetoric on “income inequality,” the truth is that one party Democrat rule in California has produced the worst such inequality in America.
That’s why I’m heading on the road to sit down and talk to people in the hardest hit regions of our state, starting with the Inland Empire this week. Our goal is to see what’s holding people back, how others are able to make it despite everything Sacramento throws at them, and map out a better path for our state than the one we’re on.
The Democrats in Sacramento have made clear they think everything is going just fine. Yet, we can never accept a status quo that has produced the nation’s highest poverty rate, some of its worst unemployment, and a growing opportunity deficit that is forcing too many Californians to leave. We can do better, and that’s what my campaign will continue to be about.
Ron Nehring is the Republican nominee for Lt. Governor. For more information or to join the campaign, visit RonNehring.com.