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Blog Post · February 5, 2024

Introducing the PPIC Economic Policy Center

photo - Freight Yard in Vernon at Sunset

California’s economy is poised to undergo a profound transformation, driven by dynamics that are reshaping the future of work. The response to these shifts will determine the strength of the state’s economy—and whether new economic opportunities reach all Californians.

Over the last century, California has established itself as a powerhouse of innovation and wealth-building, with great potential to succeed in the face of new challenges. At the same time, the gap between the rich and the poor has grown. While not unique to our state or even the nation, the contrast of vast wealth alongside widespread poverty is particularly striking in the Golden State.

What’s clear from decades of evidence is that inventive ideas and hard work alone are not sufficient to achieve economic well-being. Building an economy that improves the prospects of individuals, communities, and the state as a whole means ensuring that all Californians have a chance to succeed.

With significant changes occurring in the state’s population and climate—and pressures from rapid technological change—California needs to develop meaningful, lasting, forward-looking economic policies.

That’s where PPIC comes in. We are pleased to announce the establishment of the PPIC Economic Policy Center. The center’s mission: inspiring practical policy solutions that promote a robust, resilient economy—improving the prospects of workers, families, and businesses statewide. The center expands on the model of independent, nonpartisan research and constructive engagement that defines all of PPIC’s work.

PPIC has laid the groundwork for this center for the past three decades, with high-quality research on major economic issues and productive conversations about solutions. The PPIC Economic Policy Center represents a substantial ramping up of investment in this critical area, and we thank the James Irvine Foundation and the Blue Shield of California Foundation for their significant early support.

The center will focus on three critical areas:

  • Tracking trends. We will establish a common set of facts and facilitate a broad understanding about current economic trends and future possibilities.
  • Evaluating policies. We will analyze California’s labor market to identify policies that support prosperity, for both workers and businesses.
  • Removing barriers. We will investigate labor market barriers to economic advancement and provide pragmatic policy solutions.

In conjunction with the center’s launch, we are releasing a new report, Priorities for California’s Economy: Building Prosperity, which highlights key facts about the state’s labor market and broader economic environment and explores solutions to the economic challenges facing the state. We hope you can join us in person or online at a special event on California’s economic future in Sacramento later this month.

We invite you to visit the PPIC Economic Policy Center online to view new publications and many other useful resources. We also invite you to stay up to date with PPIC Economic Policy Center activities by signing up for email alerts on publications, blog posts, and events and engaging with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook.



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