California leads nation in job creation

Jim Nguyen (standing), executive vice president at, looks over an employee at the company's headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif. is one of the companies that have given the area the nickname "Silicon Beach."
CBS News

(CBS News) LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The Golden State is striking it rich in job creation.

Jim Nguyen is an executive vice president at Their website helps consumers know fair prices when buying or selling a vehicle. They currently have two buildings.

""We're still looking for more. We are growing fast," he said.

Two years ago, had just over 100 employees. Today they have over 300 and are planning to add more.

"Just this morning I was out looking for more office space," Nguyen said. is one of the dozens of star-ups that have earned Santa Monica, Calif. a new nickname: "Silicon Beach."

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In the past year, California has added 26,000 new information technology jobs. The construction industry is also booming with 26,400 new jobs, and tourism and hospitality has added 62,900.

New companies create most of the new jobs, and a recent study shows Los Angeles has the most entrepreneurs of any area in the country. That job growth is fueling consumer spending. Auto sales were up 14 percent last year. That's why true car is planning to add up to 100 more employees in 2013.

"We want to make sure we are prepared essentially to ride that tide as it's coming through," Nguyen said.

During the recession California was losing jobs to states with lower corporate and income taxes such as Texas. Since February California has created almost 234,000 jobs, more than Texas, Oregon and West Virginia combined.

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    Ben Tracy is a CBS News White House correspondent based in Washington, D.C.