The Bureau of Labor Statistics revised its 2014 employment numbers Tuesday and sharply raised net job creation in California to nearly a half-million.
The upward revision in California was accompanied by a downward revision for Texas, reversing what had been reported earlier to be a big edge for the latter.
The BLS revision pushed California from 320,000 to 498,000 new jobs in 2014 and dropped Texas from 458,000 to 393,000.
Kish Rajan, director Gov. Jerry Brown’s Office of Business and Economic Development, hailed the revision during testimony to an Assembly hearing on the state of the economy as an indication that California is doing well in the competition for new job creation.
“These data explain why so many governors are coming to California in search of jobs,” said Steve Levy, who heads the Palo Alto-based Center for the Continuing Study of the California Economy. “It is because California has the most jobs and strong job gains with more forecast to be added in 2015 and 2016.”
However, when the revised data are examined in proportionate terms, California’s seeming victory over arch-rival Texas diminishes.
California’s labor force, 18.9 million, is 43 percent larger than Texas’ 13.2 million so the 12-month job gain for California translates into 3.2 percent, while Texas saw a 3.5 percent employment increase.
Moreover, Texas’ unemployment rate, 4.4 percent, is 40 percent lower than California’s 6.9 percent, which is one of the nation’s highest.