Update: Texas vs. the Unionocracy of California
According to today's BLS report, total employment in Texas (data) increased for the eighth straight month in January. The gain of more than 35,000 jobs was the largest monthly increase in almost ten years, and brings total employment in Texas to a record high level of 11,094,500 in January (see graph above).
In contrast, California (data) started the year with another monthly loss of 17,500 jobs in January, marking the 24th straight month of job losses going back to February 2008. From the January 2008 peak, California has shed 1,222,192 jobs over the last two years, and now has the lowest employment level (15.85 million) since December 1999, more than ten years ago.
Bottom Line: America's two most populous states have taken radically different approaches over the last decade or more in terms of economic policies, and those differences are reflected now in radically different outcomes for how those two states survived the economic stress of the Great Recession.
The low-tax, business-friendly, right-to-work state of Texas survived the recession with only seven months of mild job losses, and has now made a complete recovery with January employment at the highest level in state history and an unemployment rate 1.5% below the national rate (8.2% in Texas vs. 9.7% for the U.S.).
In contrast, the high-tax, big-government, forced unionism approach of California has been a prescription for major job losses (more than 1.2 million bringing total employment back to the late 1990s level), a 12.5% jobless rate that is almost three percent above the national rate, and a net outflow of people and businesses.