India could soon replace California as the world’s fifth largest economy, report says

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In 2022, Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief Emeritus Matthew Winkler predicted that California could soon overtake Germany to become the world’s fourth largest economy.

Gov. Gavin Newsom touted that prediction in a statement, saying at the time, “While critics often say California’s best days are behind us, reality proves otherwise — our economic growth and job gains continue to fuel the nation’s economy.”

But according to a special report from the California Center for Jobs and the Economy, an affiliate of the California Business Roundtable, not only is No. 4 not in the cards, but the Golden State might soon actually slip to No. 6.

According to U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data, the California real gross domestic product (GDP) rose 3.1% in the fourth quarter of 2023, below the U.S. average of 3.4% and 29th highest among states. For 2023 as a whole, California’s real GDP rose 2.1%, below the U.S. average of 2.5% and 32nd highest among states.

“While the latest results show improvement, California’s sub-par GDP performance in 2022 and 2023 underlies much of the sharp drop in revenues the state is now experiencing,” according to the center’s analysis.

Other economists have also predicted modest growth. California in February had the nation’s highest unemployment rate. And, the UCLA Anderson economist forecast said in its report last month, “the California economy is forecasted to continue to grow faster than the U.S. but not by much.”

According to the Center for Jobs report, the declining GDP is a result of a weakening tech sector in the state.

California’s preliminary 2023 GDP was $3.8 trillion, putting the state at No. 5 in the world according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). However, that was only 3.5% larger than No. 6-ranked India.

“At its current rate of growth and using the IMF projects, California would slip below India in 2024,” the report said.

While the results are based on the October 2023 IMF report, they will be updated when the spring edition is released this month.

Reached for comment, Newsom’s office released a statement saying that “California is the tent pole of the American economy in terms of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit — creating more jobs than any other state over the past three years, minting more millionaires than ever before, leading the global AI race, and being the conveyor belt for talent through our world-leading public university systems.”

Newsom went on to say that the state’s economy “continues to compete with countries across the world as the fifth largest and is projected to grow faster than the nation’s this year.”


Perhaps this has happened to you.

You get home from a long day of work, only to find an email in your work inbox demanding your attention. Or maybe you had to step away from your kid’s birthday party for a work-related phone call.

A new bill being considered by California lawmakers aims to more clearly delineate work hours versus off-work hours, and requires employers in the state to establish action plans to implement them.

It’s being called a “right to disconnect,” and AB 2751 is authored by Assemblyman Matt Haney, D-San Francisco.

“Work has changed drastically compared to what it was just 10 years ago. Smartphones have blurred the boundaries between work and home life,” Haney said in a statement. “Workers shouldn’t be punished for not being available 24/7 if they’re not being paid for 24 hours of work.”

The assemblyman added that people deserve to be able to spend time with their families “without being constantly interrupted.”

The bill also empowers the California Labor Commissioner’s Office to investigate and fine employers that are found to violate the “right to disconnect” laws in the state.

The bill makes exceptions for emergency work calls, or calls to work out scheduling. It also allows for unions’ collective bargaining agreements to supersede the “right to disconnect” laws.

Jobs with erratic or traditionally late work hours (like legislative staffers or newspaper reporters) would still be allowed to be contacted, provided that employers clearly spell out non-contact hours in worker contracts, or else compensate on-call time.

“We’ve crafted it in a way that addresses the recent changes to work brought on by new technology, but to also be pro California business. California businesses will be more competitive for desperately needed workers as a result of this law,” Haney said.

The bill has been referred to the Assembly Labor Committee, and will be heard later this spring.


A proposed California law would grant a civil right of action to victims of doxing — the act of publishing someone’s private information, such as name, employer or home address, with malicious intent.

In a press conference Tuesday morning, Assemblyman Chris Ward, D-San Diego, unveiled the bill, AB 1979, which went before the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Ward said that the tactic of doxing has become a preferred tool of online hate groups and extremists in recent years, with victims often being women or members of marginalized communities. While California law already makes the practice a misdemeanor, Ward noted that victims themselves have no real protections.

“Doxing is one of the most extreme forms of privacy invasion, and causes significant distress and anxiety for the individuals afflicted,” Ward said at the presser.

Testifying on behalf of the bill was Kathie Moehlig, founder of Trans Family Support Services, which aims to help transgender and nonbinary youths as they transition genders. She shared her own experience with doxing with committee members.

“I was thrust into the realm of victimhood through doxing, an insidious practice that exposed my personal information to the darkest corners of the internet. Suddenly, my family and I found ourselves living under the shadow of fear, unsure of what dangers lurked around each digital corner. The very work I’ve poured my heart and soul into has made me a target of hate,” she said.

No one spoke in opposition to the bill, and there was none recorded in a committee bill analysis.

AB 1979 would grant victims the right to pursue legal damages of up to $30,000, plus court costs and attorney fees, from their doxers.

Doxing is a controversial practice. While it is often used by hate groups to target women and members of marginalized minority groups, the practice is also used by activists and journalists to uncover the identity of online extremists.

Ward’s communications director, Mike Blount, told The Bee that AB 1979 would not affect journalists who unmask Nazis and other hate group members.

“Journalists who expose a person as being part of a hate group are not acting with an intent to harm the individual as defined in the bill, which wouldn’t meet the criteria for civil action under the Doxing Victims Recourse Act,” he said in an email statement.

The Assembly Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to approve the bill and send it along to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.


Vik Jolly has joined the capitol bureau at The Sacramento Bee as the California governor reporter.

Vik has more than two decades of daily journalism experience, having worked in reporting and editing positions at several news outlets, including the Orange County Register, the Associated Press, and at newspapers in Hawaii and Palm Springs, and most recently was a freelance contributor to The New York Times’ breaking news coverage from Southern California.

Vik is passionate about public service and accountability journalism.

Got a tip? You can reach him at


“The bombing deaths of WCK workers in Gaza is yet another horrific reminder that the war must end. As I’ve said before, everyone is losing this war. So many Gazans are dying. Many Israelis still can’t go back to their homes. Hostages are still in Gaza tunnels. The war must end.”

- Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco and co-chair of the Legislative Jewish Caucus, via X. He was speaking about seven World Central Kitchen workers killed in what Israel called an unintentional strike.

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