California Suffers Most Cities in Decline

APRIL 1, 2011


Facetiously speaking, Gov. Jerry Brown couldn’t have picked a better time to put taxes on the ballot, rather than work out a budget deal with the Republicans in the State Legislature.

The economy is getting worse for many cities in the United States, but California takes the cake — the pineapple upside down cake, that is — for the most cities where things are likely to get worse.

Forbes magazine just finished compiling a list of Where the Economy May Get Worse and California has six of the worse seven cities.  To give you an idea of how bad it is getting in California, the situation is like a layer cake: three California city layers on the top, three on the bottom — with Detroit the filling in the middle.


City Unemployment Rate Mortgages 90-Plus Days Delinquent 12-Month Home Price Forecast 2011 Net Migration Projection Job Growth Projection
Riverside-San Bernardino 13.9% 8.21% 1% increase 4,110 residents leaving 0.69%
Stockton 18% 7.78% 1% decrease 620 residents leaving 0.54%
Detroit 13.3% 5.42% 2% decrease 1,340 residents leaving 0.53%
Los Angeles 11.7% 5.53% 1% increase 7,880 residents leaving 0.88%
Bakersfield 16.2% 6.85% 3% decrease 311 residents incoming 0.21%
San Francisco-Oakland 10.1% 4.17% No change 3,030 residents leaving 0.94%
Sacramento 12.1% 5.83% 2%


1,270 residents incoming 0.55%

Except for Los Angeles, on the above list, four other California cities — Riverside-San Bernardino, Stockton, Bakersfield and Sacramento — all have declining home prices. So as Gov. Jerry Brown continues trying to raise taxes on sales taxes, auto license fees and incomes, taxpayers’ home values are plummeting in most areas of the state.

Las Vegas, Nevada has the highest mortgage delinquency rate in America. But 13,000 people are expected to move into the city next year.  How many of them may be California government retirees was not estimated.

Moody’s compiled the data for Forbes magazine.  Moody’s is also one of the largest municipal bond-rating firms in the U.S. and rates California’s municipal bonds.

State Treasurer Bill Lockyer has pulled California out of the municipal bond market temporarily. We can now see why.  Lockyer apparently doesn’t want bond interest rates based on Moody’s bond ratings reflecting a worsening economy in California.

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