Sunday, November 19, 2017
Business

PolitiFact: Checking in on California's economy

RECOMMENDED READING


The statement

Although California has "the sixth-largest economy in the world, we also have one of the highest poverty rates" in the nation.

Gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa, the former mayor of Los Angeles, June 6 in a speech

The ruling

We'll start by checking the first part: that California has the "sixth-largest economy in the world."

This is a talking point California leaders love to make on national and international stages.

We fact-checked this hypothetical comparison of the state's economy against that of nations in July 2016 when California Senate Leader Kevin de León made the same assertion at the Democratic National Convention.

We rated it Mostly True based on California's $2.4 trillion GDP in 2015, which ranked sixth behind the United States, China, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom and slightly above France and Brazil. The rankings came from Gov. Jerry Brown's administration, which analyzed figures from the International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook Database.

The claim ignored California's sky-high cost of living and Silicon Valley's outsized role in the state's economic growth, which speaks to Villaraigosa's description of unequal economies across the state.

In a separate set of rankings, the California Legislative Analyst's Office, adjusting for the state's high cost of living, reported in 2016 that the state's GDP ranking dropped to 11th in the world. That placed it just below France and just above Mexico.

The Brown administration, not including cost of living, recently updated the GDP rankings for 2016. California's now $2.60 trillion GDP remained in the sixth spot, though it was just a tick behind the United Kingdom's $2.62 trillion economy.

Villaraigosa's statement on this point is accurate, but needs the same clarification about the state's high cost of living.

The second part of Villaraigosa's claim is that California has one of the "highest poverty rates." We interpreted this to mean compared with other states in the nation.

We know the state has struggled mightily with poverty. As an example, we rated True a claim by Republican Assembly Leader Chad Mayes in January that California has "the highest poverty rate in the nation" when comparing states and considering cost of living.

At 20.6 percent, California's poverty rate in 2015 was well above the national average of 15.1 percent, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report that factors in cost of living. Florida's 19 percent poverty rate ranked second.

Unlike Mayes' statement on poverty, however, Villaraigosa's claim makes no mention of cost-of-living. Ignoring this factor, California would have the 17th-highest poverty rate, not the first, according to the census bureau.

Villaraigosa's statement needs this key clarification.

Overall, we rate Villaraigosa's claim Mostly True.

Read more rulings at PolitiFact.com.

Comments

Stolen car crashes in St. Pete, leaving passenger, 15, with life threatening injuries

Two boys in a stolen car struck a dip in the roadway and crashed into a tree, leaving the 15-year-old passenger with life-threatening injuries, St. Petersburg police said.The crash occurred about 11:25 a.m. Sunday as the car sped west on 11th Avenue ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Search suspended for missing Cortez boater who left from Egmont Key

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search for a missing 63-year-old boater on Sunday evening, two days after he and his dog were reported missing 5 miles northwest of Mead Point, just inland from Anna Maria Island.On Friday, Fraser Horne of Cortez le...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Parents, children welcome downsized MOSI in Tampa

Parents, children welcome downsized MOSI in Tampa

TAMPA — Avery, 6, slid his sneakers up the side of 200-pound rubber tire from the space shuttle Columbia and sat on top.His father, Ilder Jeannot, called for him to get off of it — usually climbing on museum displays is frowned upon. But in the new M...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Sunday Conversation: Tona Bell invites customers to enjoy a ‘digital detox’

Sunday Conversation: Tona Bell invites customers to enjoy a ‘digital detox’

Like so many small businesses, Saturday will represent a special day for Paper Seahorse owner Tona Bell. Bell’s cozy bungalow business at 211 S Howard features paper and stationery, specialty pens, vintage typewriters and crafts classes. It will offe...
Published: 11/17/17
Updated: 11/19/17
Florida jobs recover from Irma, unemployment rate drops

Florida jobs recover from Irma, unemployment rate drops

As economists predicted, the tough hit that Florida jobs took from Hurricane Irma was not long-lived. The state added 125,300 jobs in October, almost breaking even from the 127,400 jobs it lost in September. According to state figures released Friday...
Published: 11/17/17
Apple will postpone release of  HomePod

Apple will postpone release of HomePod

The Washington PostApple said Friday that it’s pushing back its plans for a Siri-powered smart speaker until sometime early next year.The HomePod speaker was announced in June, with an initial launch date set for December. Apple said that its smart s...
Published: 11/17/17
HSN, Good Housekeeping pick five contest finalists

HSN, Good Housekeeping pick five contest finalists

ST. PETERSBURG — Good Housekeeping and St. Petersburg-based HSN have chosen five finalists for their entrepreneur competition. The partners are searching for a novel item to promote as endorsed by the Good Housekeeping Seal, denoting reliability and ...
Published: 11/17/17
Trigaux: State of Tampa Bay startups? Disconnected we falter but there’s a plan to fix that

Trigaux: State of Tampa Bay startups? Disconnected we falter but there’s a plan to fix that

How are we doing?That was the Big Question posed more than once this past week in Tampa Bay. First, the Tampa Bay Partnership and USF debuted in-depth and new ways to measure Tampa Bay across a wide range of indicators to gauge whether we are gaining...
Published: 11/17/17
Tesla’s latest creation: An electric big rig that can travel 500 miles on a single charge

Tesla’s latest creation: An electric big rig that can travel 500 miles on a single charge

The main course was expected: a pair of sleek silver Tesla semi-trucks that get 500 miles per charge, go from zero to 60 mph in five seconds and — if the hype is to be believed — promise to single-handedly transform the commercial trucking industry.B...
Published: 11/17/17
We ask Tampa Bay startup leaders how best to advance entrepreneurial ecosystem

We ask Tampa Bay startup leaders how best to advance entrepreneurial ecosystem

What one thing could be added to the Tampa Bay startup community to help it grow and prosper?The Tampa Bay Times reached out to these leading area entrepreneurs and startup experts for answers.RELATED COVERAGE: Trigaux: State of Tampa Bay startups? D...
Published: 11/17/17