California is the Worst State for Business for the Tenth Year in a Row

Despite its woes, California maintains its strength as a tech hub, being the home for Silicon Valley startups and investors, as well as the headquarters location for high-tech organizations such as Apple, Google, Cisco and Intel.

Previous State: New York

No. 50 California

Taxations & Regulations

Workforce Quality

Living Environment

Key Metrics
State GDP 

  • % Growth ’12-’13: 2.0
  • % Growth ’11-’12 v. Nat’l Avg. (2.5%): 1


  • Unemployment Rate Dec. 2013 %: 8.3
  • Comparison with Nat’l Rate (6.70%): -1.6

Domestic Migration

  • Domestic Net Migration 2013: -49,259
  • Rank: 48

State Government

  • State Debt per Capita Fiscal Year ’13 ($): 3,915
  • State & Local Gov’t Employees per 10k Residents: 504.6

State-Local Tax Burden

  • Rate (%): 11.2%
  • Compared to Nat’l Avg. (9.9%): -1.37%
Key Companies
  • Apple Inc.
  • Chevron Corporation
  • Visa
  • Google
  • Oracle Corp.
  • McKesson
Development Trend Indicator: Positive
Shreds of hope in new laws in the margins, but just glad for Silicon Valley.
CEO Comments
“California goes out of its way to be anti-business and particularly where one might put manufacturing and/or distribution operations.” 

“California continues to lead in disincentives for growth businesses to stay.”

“California’s attitude toward business makes you question why anyone would build a business there.”

“We relocated our corporate office from Los Angeles to Atlanta in 2006 largely because of the regulatory and unfriendly tax environment in the state of California. We considered Dallas, but settled on Atlanta for customer-related and other secondary or marginal reasons. Would make the same decision if I had to do it all over again.”

“California could hardly do more to discourage business if that was the goal. The regulatory, tax and political environment are crushing. The only saving grace is that there are still a lot of affluent areas that drive local economic zones, but the trend line on these is not good for the mid- to long-term.”

Based on CEO Survey by

Bureau of Economic Analysis
Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Tax Foundation


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