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California employers make regular income tax withholding payments for their employees. These amounts are reported every weekday, providing a real-time indication of the direction and magnitude of aggregate change in the employers’ payroll. Most withholding payments are for employees’ wages and salaries, but withholding is also due on bonuses and stock options received by employees.

The first graph shows that withholding payments during the five-week period covering August were $7.0 billion, $450 million (6.1 percent) below August 2021. To make an apples-to-apples comparison for August, we compare the same five-week period covering August across the two years. Using this method, each year contains the same weeks of the year and the same number of "collection days".)

The second graph shows cumulative withholding since April 1 compared to the same period during 2021. 2022 collections from April through the end of August were $620 million (1.8 percent) below 2021 levels.


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