With the recent receipt of various postponed tax payments, the impact of recent economic weakness and last year's financial market distress on state revenues has become clearer. The postponed payments came in much weaker than anticipated. As a result, we now estimate 2022-23 revenues to be $26 billion below Budget Act projections. Historical experience suggests this weakness is likely to carry into this fiscal year and next. Overall, our updated revenue outlook anticipates collections to come in $58 billion below Budget Act projections across 2022-23 to 2024-25. We will release our Fiscal Outlook next week, which will discuss the ramifications of this revenue shortfall for the state's budget.
California businesses added just 40,200 in October, and the September total was revised up slightly. Despite these gains, the state's unemployment rate climbed to 4.8 percent. The "Sahm rule," a real-time recession indicator that first triggered on in March, continues to signal the beginning of an economic downturn.
The recent uptick in the unemployment rate, from 3.8 percent to 4.6 percent, has triggered a state version of the "Sahm Rule," a real-time indicator of the start of an economic downturn.
While recessions are not formally defined for state economies, economic data for the fourth quarter of 2022 and first quarter of 2023 appear consistent with California experiencing a mild recession. The apparent start of a recession in California last fall helps explain why the state faced a revenue shortfall in its most recent budget. How much the economy will continue to dampen the state's fiscal picture moving forward is unclear. However, the threat that the recent slowdown could persist will be a significant risk for the foreseeable future.
A newly released "early benchmark" of the official state jobs figures shows that payroll jobs declined at an annualized rate of 0.6 percent from September 2022 through March 2023, whereas the official state tally showed growth of 1.8 percent over that period. This amounts to a net decline of about 50k jobs over that period compared to the unbenched tally of +165k jobs.
Based on the most recent revenue and economic data, we currently estimate that collections from the state’s “big three” taxes—personal income, sales, and corporation taxes—are likely to fall below the Governor's Budget assumption of $200 billion in 2022-23.