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Is there golden opportunity in the Golden State?

Brian O'Connell

California has a lousy reputation for business. It has a high-tax, high-regulation mindset and popular opinion has it that the Golden State is losing businesses – and jobs – to allegedly business-friendlier states like Texas and Arizona.

Consider these facts:

So why is California – far and away – the most popular place for entrepreneurs to launch a new business? And the best place to land a startup job?

Those are the facts, according to data from the National Venture Capital Association and StartUpHire.com.

The research shows that a whopping 37.4 percent of all new jobs in the United States are in California, a fact that the NVCA and StartUpHire.com attribute to the Golden State’s tendency to attract venture-backed startups.

Here’s an excerpt from the combined study:

Even in times of economic headwind, venture-backed companies continue to be a vibrant hiring engine which is critical to our nation’s economic health.  These initial statistics provide a snapshot of hiring activity across more than 2,000 companies.  The geographic distribution is weighted towards regions receiving the largest share of venture capital dollars; however, jobs exist in 48 states plus Washington, DC.  37 percent of the jobs listed are in California.

The data shows that California leads the pack with 12,916 new startup-based jobs. Massachusetts is a distant second, with 2,480 jobs. New York is third, at 2,646 new startup jobs.

"These numbers show clearly the impact startups are having on the nation's job picture," said Steve Fredrick, a general partner with Grotech Ventures and a StartUpHire founder. "With all the talk about job creation, we should celebrate and encourage any sector that has brought at a minimum 36,000 new jobs to the country over a 10-month period."

Look, 13,000 jobs isn’t exactly a bonanza.

But in a sluggish economy, the 13,000 startup jobs in California are miles ahead of what the second-ranked state offers, and that’s food for thought for those who view California as a lousy place to open a business.

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