Japanese companies added more muscle to their No. 1 position as California's leading foreign employer by adding more than 27,000 workers to their payrolls over the last four years, according to a study released Thursday.
The survey of firms that belong to the Japan Business Assn. of Southern California showed that Japan-based companies employ a total of 77,610 people throughout the state. That was up 56% from the 49,875 Californians who worked for Japanese companies in 1983 when the JBA conducted its last survey.
The findings also provide an update to a report by the California Department of Commerce, released only this year, that put 1984 employment at Japanese-owned firms at 53,100, or 19.1% of the 279,000 workers employed by all foreign companies in California at that time. Britain was second, followed by West Germany.
The JBA survey, which did not include data on Japanese investment, showed that about 62,888, or 81% of the workers, are employed in Southern California, where most Japanese companies have located their U.S. operations.