California leads all states in income generated by industrial activity and in industrial employment. In the mid-2000s California’s manufacturing sector contributed more than 10 percent of the nation’s manufacturing total, and about 1.5 million people were engaged in manufacturing in the state.
California’s leading industry, in terms of the value added by manufacturing, is computers and electronic products. Value added by manufacturing is the difference between the price of raw materials used in a product and the price it commands as a finished item. Firms in this industry make semiconductors, circuit boards, computer software and hardware, radios and televisions, and telephones, among other products. Many computer companies are located in what is known as Silicon Valley, in the San Jose-Palo Alto area.
Other manufacturing sectors ranking high in California’s economy include chemical production, food processing, fabricated metals, and transportation equipment. California’s chemical industry produces synthetic fibers, fertilizers, pesticides, paints, pharmaceuticals, and cleaning agents. Food processing includes the California wine industry and the drying, freezing, and packaging of fruit, vegetables, fish, and livestock products. Construction materials, pipes, boilers, tools, and other industrial supplies are among the state’s fabricated metal products.
The manufacture of transportation equipment has long been important to California’s economy. By far the largest employers in the sector are aeronautics firms, making civilian and military aircraft, guided missiles, and vehicles used in space exploration.
Other activities include the building and repairing of ships and the manufacture and assembly of automobiles.
Manufacturing is concentrated in southern California and around San Francisco Bay. The aircraft industry is centered in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas and is based in large part on federal military expenditures. Automobile assembly plants are located near Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley, and in Fremont. There are shipbuilding yards at San Diego. In Sacramento, Stockton, Fresno, Bakersfield, and other Central Valley cities, foodstuffs are manufactured.
In the San Francisco area, manufacturing is highly diversified and includes food processing, automobile assembly, chemical production, printing and publishing, and the manufacture of machinery. The computer and electronics industry is centered in Silicon Valley, which is lesser known as, but officially, the Santa Clara Valley.
Southern California, with its year-round sunshine, variety of landscape, and excellent technical facilities, has dominated the U.S. motion-picture industry since the 1920s. The name Hollywood has long been synonymous with the world of motion pictures. The Los Angeles area is also a major center of the U.S. television industry. "USA" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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