California's job numbers look bad, with unemployment sitting at above 12 percent, more than three points higher than the national average.
In short, most of the state's job loss has been in construction and in government. Subtract those two categories, and California's job market is growing relatively rapidly. Writes Levy:
"California’s job picture improves markedly once construction and government job losses are removed from the data. In these data, California job growth more than doubles for 2010 and outpaces the nation."
Given that construction is driven by housing (which is itself shaped deeply by government), what we may be seeing is the drag of the persistent budget crisis on jobs. If we can get a handle on how we govern ourselves fiscally, California may be in a strong position to recover.