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California still leads US in new business formation — but growth cools

”Survey says” looks at various rankings and scorecards judging geographic locations while noting these grades are best seen as a mix of artful interpretation and data.

Buzz: California still leads the nation in new business formation, but growth in creation vs. pre-pandemic badly trailing the nation.

Source: My trusty spreadsheet’s review of the Census Bureau’s state-by-state tally of business applications with planned wages — a measure of entrepreneurs’ intentions to start new businesses with a staff.

Topline

California ranked No. 1 in the first half for new business starts at 35,880 — 11% of the 314,120 created nationally. After California came Texas at 32,210, Florida at 26,480, Georgia at 14,690, and New York at 14,310.

Details

The economy’s rebound slowed this year compared to the frenetic pandemic recovery pace of 2021.

California had the 13th largest drop in new business starts — down 16% — in the first half vs. the same period in 2021. The drop was 14% nationally.

Biggest drops? Georgia, down 25%, then Ohio, down 21%, District of Columbia, Louisiana and Illinois, off 20%.

Is California’s shrinking GDP a bubble or 12th best economy?

Best performances? New Mexico and Vermont, up 11%, Alaska, up 3%, Montana, up 1%, West Virginia, flat.

Arch-rivals? Texas? 27th worst, off 11% Florida? Sixth-worst, off 19%.

Bottom line

This year’s business creation is running ahead of the pre-pandemic pace of 2015-2019 — but California is a laggard.

The state had  12% more starts that the pre-pandemic average — but that was the eighth-slowest growth among the states. Growth was 26% nationally.

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