California’s Diverse Economy
The California economy is the largest in the United States. In fact, it is the largest sub-national economy in the world. It is expected to reach $3.37 trillion in gross state product by 2021, making it the world’s largest economy by a wide margin. This state’s economic success is tied with its innovative thinking and diverse culture.
California’s economy depends heavily on finance, real estate, and professional services. It fell to 10th place in the world’s 2012 economic ranking after the financial crisis of 2008, but it has since rebounded to a fifth-place position. This diversification of the state’s economy has kept it from suffering disproportionately from recent recessions.
California’s economy began to grow in the 19th century after the Gold Rush. The state became a hub of commerce, with ports in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Eventually, California’s shipping industry expanded and began to handle cargoes to Europe, the eastern United States, and Asia. World War II also brought an influx of wartime industries and military bases.
Agricultural production is another important component of the California economy. California leads the nation in the production of fruits and vegetables. It also produces large amounts of grapes and wine. The state produces most of the country’s domestic wine. Farm income is also derived from dairy products. Good soil and irrigation help produce a range of high-value crops. In recent years, the state has seen some problems in the form of overbuilding and the nationwide economic recession.
Solar power in California is another major employer in the state. This industry employs over 43,000 Californians, with most of the jobs being located in the Central Valley and San Francisco Bay Area. But the state also has many small companies that are not in the high-tech sector. They employ thousands of people in Southern California.
In the North of the state, premium wine grapes are grown in the Napa and Sonoma valleys north of San Francisco. Similarly, the Imperial Valley contains about 500,000 irrigated acres and nearly 200,000 hectares of farmland. Other major agricultural areas include the Coachella Valley, which is a major farming area near Palm Springs and is home to grapefruit and dates.
In San Luis Obispo County, tourism has hit a record high. The region has won a bid to host a California luxury forum. It brought 30 luxury goods buyers and ten media representatives from all over the world, putting San Luis Obispo on the map. Meanwhile, around 40 travel companies make up $4.1 billion in annual travel spending. The city is optimistic about its long-term economic viability and growth.
California has a wide range of taxes. The state’s property tax is 1.26% of assessed value, but local property taxes can be as high as nearly two percent. In addition, the state’s gas prices have dropped to a near-record low. In the last week, the average price of a gallon of regular gas was $5.71, down from $6 a week ago. This has been attributed to measures taken by Governor Gavin Newsom’s office. Refineries were able to start producing winter blend gasoline earlier than usual, which is less expensive.