CA job growth vs. ND job growth: Bring on fracking!

March 9, 2013

By Chris Reed

Greens were doing some chest-thumping this week after a new study came out that said California led the nation in 2012 in creation of green jobs.

“Environmental Entrepreneurs tracks the creation of green jobs on a monthly basis. The 2012 wrap-up found firms announced the creation of 110,000 green jobs last year. About 26,000 of those jobs were in California.”

But that’s a puny number by almost any objective standard. It confirms that green jobs are just a small niche and will never be a core sector of the economy, just as the respected McKinsey consulting firm predicted, and just as Barack Obama’s economics advisers told him in winter 2008-09 as they put together what would become the 2009 stimulus bill, and just as I told Gov. Jerry Brown when he touted the same myths as Obama and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Meanwhile, let’s look at the employment numbers in North Dakota, where leaders emphasize brown jobs — created by the fracking boom — not subsidized, corporate crony green jobs. From 2010 to 2012, this tiny little state went from 370,000 employed residents to 421,000 employed residents — a stunning 14 percent increase with few parallels in recent U.S. history. Equivalent growth in the California workforce would mean 2 million new jobs.

Let’s trade governors with North Dakota

Instead, as of December, the Golden State continued to have the third highest unemployment rate in the nation, and North Dakota continued to have the lowest — a tiny 3.2 percent — and a different set of worker problems than those seen in any other state.

If only we could trade governors and legislatures. Bill Clinton had that great post-presidential gig in Argentina, remember?

Oh, wait. That was in The Onion’s world. It’s stranger than ours. But not by too much. Consider that California easily could be the Saudi Arabia of the First World, but that the majority party that controls the state thinks this is a bad thing. Instead of the 21st-century version of “There Will Be Blood,” in Sacramento, it’s more like “There Will Be Duds.”

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