The sudden, deep and lasting effects of California's great recession are revealed in a detailed bloc of business data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
In 2006, at the height of the state's housing boom, California had 13.8 million paid employees of 878,128 businesses and they were earning $633.8 billion a year, according to the Census Bureau report.
But just four years later, in 2010, employers had declined to 849,875 and their work forces had dropped to 12.5 million, although total compensation had risen slightly to $635.6 billion.
The voluminous report for 2010 and earlier years covers every state, every county, every ZIP code and dozens of specific types of businesses, but does not include data on government employment. The Census Bureau issues a separate annual report on state and local governments' spending and roughly two million employees.
The report confirms other data that California lost 1.3 million jobs as recession gripped the state, and also that manufacturing, construction, real estate, finance and retail trade suffered particularly large job losses.
Construction jobs dropped from 958,436 in 2006 to 584.801 in 2010, while manufacturing declined from 1.45 million to 1.14 million and retail trade from 1.7 million to 1.5 million. The related fields of real estate, finance and insurance, which were also hammered by the bursting of the housing bubble, saw a 200,000-plus decline in employment.
Together, those categories accounted for 86 percent of the decline in jobs from 2006 to 2010 and a similar proportion of the drop in employers.
But what activities defied the recession and expanded? Health care, most spectacularly, solidifying its status as the largest single segment of the $2 trillion California economy. Between 2006 and 2010, health care employers rose from 95,048 to 101,157 and their payrolls expanded from 1.6 million workers to 1.7 million.
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