August 5, 2022
California employers make regular income tax withholding payments for their employees. These amounts are reported every weekday, providing a real-time indication of the direction and magnitude of aggregate change in the employers’ payroll. Most withholding payments are for employees’ wages and salaries, but withholding is also due on bonuses and stock options received by employees.
The first graph shows that withholding payments during the five-week period covering July 2022 were $7.3 billion, $90 million (1 percent) below July 2021. To make an apples-to-apples comparison for July, we compare the same five-week period covering July across the two years. Using this method, each year contains the same weeks of the year and the same number of "collection days".)
The second graph shows cumulative withholding since April 1 compared to the same period during 2021. Collections from April 2022 through the end of July were 1.6 percent below 2021 levels.