California’s economy, in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, was riding on a wave of success, thanks in part to the dot com boom. In 2000 the unemployment rate was 4.9 percent. Although it spiked to 6.8 percent in 2003, jobs were still available and folks were filling them mainly because people entering the workforce had the skillsets to match the jobs.
Gray Davis was governor during that time. He made education his top priority. California spent eight billion dollars more than required under Proposition 98. Under Davis, state standardized test scores increased for five years in a row.
He was recalled by voters in 2003 due in part to California’s energy market crisis.
The former California Governor shared his thoughts on getting the Golden State’s economy back on track during the recent Milken Institute’s California Summit.