Research Economist

California Department of Finance
Sacramento, CA
Date Posted:  April 17, 2023
Closing Date:  August 1, 2023

Job Description and Duties

Finance is the Governor’s chief fiscal policy advisor, and seeks to promote long-term economic sustainability and responsible resource allocation. The Economic Research Unit is responsible for California’s official economic forecast which is used for the administration’s official revenue forecast and budget development process.

Under the general direction of the Chief Economist, the Research Data Specialist will assist the Economic Research Unit with producing the official economic forecasts for the State of California, analyzing the economic impact of various enacted and proposed policies, weekly data updates, producing memos for the Director of Finance and the Governor’s Office on current economic issues, organizing and participating in Finance’s biannual economic forecast conference attended by top forecasters across the state, supporting the Chief Economist with the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors, and reviewing regulatory impacts from California agencies proposing new regulations. The topics of regulatory reviews span all areas of state policy, such as insurance, environmental policies, health care, and worker safety, among others. The economic forecast and the policy analysis provided by the unit inform the state budget and other decisions made by the Governor. The Research Data Specialist will lead projects and will be responsible for analyzing and maintaining a working knowledge on current economic issues and data including labor market, personal income, housing, and inflation data.

Two Research Data Specialist levels will be considered. The complexity of the duties will be modified to be consistent with the classification of the candidate hired.

Desirable Qualifications

In addition to evaluating each candidate’s relative ability, as demonstrated by quality and breadth of experience, the following factors will provide the basis for competitively evaluating each candidate:
  • Graduation from college with a degree in economics or a related field such as statistics or public policy and significant work experience, or completion of coursework in a Master’s or PhD program in economics or a related field.
  • Knowledge of economic models and their applications in a variety of settings including state-level macroeconomic forecasting and economic impact assessment.
  • Ability to communicate complex issues to executive management and explain economic concepts, both written and oral.
  • Ability to quickly find key information, absorb new material, and make recommendations on how to assess economic impacts.
  • Ability to exercise a high degree of initiative and independent action.
  • Ability to work on multiple projects and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to develop and maintain effective cooperative working relationships with colleagues, program staff, and other agencies.