Succeeding Gov. Ronald Reagan, Brown took office in 1975 amid high unemployment, a recession, and runaway inflation. In his 1975 inaugural address, he said, “We are going to cooperate with local government and industry to create as many new jobs as humanly possible.”
In some ways, Brown may have it even worse now. California’s unemployment rate in 1975 stood at a relatively high 9.4 percent, but now it's at a whopping 12.4 percent. That's the second highest jobless rate in the nation: Only Michigan's is higher. During Brown’s first year in office, the unemployment rate worsened, rising to 9.9 percent. Today, Brown emphasizes creating jobs in clean energy, construction, and manufacturing, and hopes to improve job-training programs.