California Now World's Sixth-Largest Economy

If the state of California were its own country, it would have the sixth-largest economy in the world, ahead of 10th-place Brazil, ninth-place Italy, eighth-place India and, now, seventh-place France. California’s economy trails only the United States, China, Japan, Germany, and, barely, the United Kingdom.

The state’s economy grew by 4.1% in 2015, well ahead of overall U.S. growth of 2.4% and French growth of 1.1%. According to a report at Bloomberg News, four of the world’s 10 largest companies are headquartered in California, including tech heavyweights Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB).

California is the nation’s most populous state, followed by Florida and Texas, and California created more new jobs in 2015 than Florida and Texas combined. Texas reportedly lost 60,000 jobs in 2015 as energy exploration and production companies cut their payrolls. Job cuts in the oilfield services business were also severe.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, California supported 16.27 million nonfarm jobs at the end of December 2015, and that number had risen to 16.38 million by the end of April 2016. The state’s largest job sector is trade, transportation and utilities (services) with 2.99 million jobs, followed by the profession and business services sector (including technology) with 2.55 million jobs, and the government sector with 2.5 million jobs. Total employment in the state, including farm jobs, reached 19.1 million at the end of April.

Florida had 8.28 million nonfarm jobs and 9.8 million total jobs at the end of April. Texas had 11.97 million nonfarm jobs and 13.3 million total jobs at the end of April.