California Money

By Marc Lifsher
August 17, 2014

California is one of the most expensive states for businesses to operate, mainly because of high pay and related labor costs, says a new report commissioned by an arm of the state Chamber of Commerce.

“The high cost of creating additional jobs puts California at a substantial competitive disadvantage when attempting to retain or attract businesses that have a choice where to locate,” the chamber affiliate said in releasing its report.

The conclusion should come as no surprise. But at a time when California’s competitiveness with other states is under scrutiny, reports like these spark debate.

After all, the state in recent months has been drawn into competition for a big battery plant that Tesla Motors wants to build in the West. And Toyota’s decision to move its U.S. headquarters from Torrance to Texas raised questions about the state’s ability to keep companies from leaving.

The latest report comes from the Sacramento-based California Foundation for Commerce and Education. It cites 19 surveys and studies of jobs, education, energy, unemployment, economic competitiveness and other topics that mostly offered negative findings about California’s business climate. It was released last week to have the maximum effect on state lawmakers as they wind up their two-year session.

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