We Californians have become accustomed to a broad economic climate, one not dependent on any particular industry for our economic health. Across this economic base, however, the jobs with the fastest wage and salary employment growth, the fastest-growing occupations, and the occupations with the largest job growth, already have left California. There is no reason to expect them back. The report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on job growth 2000 – 2010 (Economic and Employment Projections, 2000 – 2010), is – or should be – disturbing reading for all Californians.
Within Industries with the fastest wage and salary employment growth, Computer and Data Processing takes 1st place, adding 1.8 Million new jobs, an average annual rate of increase of 6.4%.
Seven of the ten places in the Fastest growing occupations are: Computer software engineers – applications (1), Computer support specialists (2), Computer software engineers – systems software (3), Network and computer system administrators (4), Network systems and data communications analysts (5), Database administrators (7), and Computer systems analysts (9).
In Occupations with the largest job growth, Computer Support specialists ranks 5th with 490,000 new jobs (a 97% increase), and Computer software engineers – applications, ranks 9th, with 380,000 new jobs (a 100% increase).
California is known around the world for high tech and Information Technology (IT), though, so why is this a problem?
Because while large amounts of high tech are invented in California, implementation of IT occurs elsewhere. Virtually no large companies are headquartered in California any longer to implement these technologies and provide these jobs. Only ten of the Fortune 100 companies are headquartered in California, and only seven have even some of their IT operations in the state, the home of 12% of the global economy.
System and application software jobs are performed where large data centers are located. Network and System Administrators, and Computer Support Specialists are where the computers are. The same is true of Network Systems Analysts, Data Communications Analysts, and virtually all other computer-related jobs, including the high paying IT consulting and Project Management careers within the major consulting companies.
Fortune 100 companies either writing their own application systems or implementing some of the more complex commercial applications in the marketplace do the preponderance of system and application development, implementation and support. Contrary to office workers’ applications, installation of these complex systems is not via CD. Rather, it takes hundreds of IT specialists months or years to install a PeopleSoft, SAP, or Oracle system.
The pursuit of a high-tech career is the obvious choice for anyone looking at the projected growth of the labor market. The college graduates who will be pursuing those careers will be doing so in states other than California.
While the policies of what the Wall Street Journal has listed as the most business-unfriendly state in the nation may today help those on the lower end of the economic ladder, it is evident that the wealth our politicians continuously seek to redistribute will continue to leave the state, helping no Californians.
Unless we fix our business policies, businesses will continue to leave California, taking with them good paying jobs and careers. Leaving with those careers will be educated young parents agitating for higher quality schools, further dropping any residual attractiveness California may hold. Real estate prices will follow. The tax base required to support California’s myriad social programs will be lost.
The major job growth in the United States, across all areas of measure, will not be happening in California. Given our deplorable schools, our over-regulation of business, and the lack of high-paying careers, the future of California is not bright.
Our ability to fix the problem seems limited. Democrats pander to those on the receiving end of wealth redistribution and to those running our appalling public schools. Republicans refuse to put up a viable candidate due to their insane stands on abortion (it’s here to stay – get over it) and homosexuality (it’s always been here – get over it).
Someone had better be looking at the real issues. California is in a ditch: No jobs, no education, no future.