A jobs plan that is part of Meg Whitman's gubernatorial campaign suggests that drought and Delta pumping restrictions might have cost California 95,000 jobs. 
Senate candidate Carly Fiorina puts the number at 40,000.Both are relying on early and outdated economic forecasts of what might have happened in 2009.

Now, the economist who developed those numbers and his toughest academic critic have joined together in a report that tries to determine what actually transpired. Their conclusions: Those estimates of lost jobs are far too high.Between 5,500 and 7,500 jobs were lost due to water shortages in the San Joaquin Valley last year, and most of the blame goes to the weather, not to environmental protection. One of the economists put the job loss attributable to environmental protections at 1,400 jobs and the other put the figure closer to 3,000 jobs.

By comparison, one of the report's authors said the housing downturn cost the region 76,000 construction-related jobs. "Sure, the 2.5 percent decline in crop production had an impact, but the 90 percent decline in home production and the more than 50 percent decline in nonresidential construction had a much bigger impact," said Jeffrey Michael, director of the Business Forecasting Center at the University of Pacific.

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