The Housing Chronicles Blog: Press release from 2010 Riverside San Bernardino Economic Forecast Conference

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Press release from 2010 Riverside San Bernardino Economic Forecast Conference


November 9, 2010

RIVERSIDE, CA—A new economic forecast focused on the inland regions of Southern California finds signs of economic recovery mixed with examples of continued sluggishness.

The forecast, authored by Beacon Economics and released in partnership with the University of California, Riverside’s School of Business Administration, says that relative to California, the unemployment rate in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties is expected to fall faster. However, substantial job growth won’t be evident in the region until the last half of 2011, and the unemployment rate in Riverside and San Bernardino counties will remain above 8 percent through 2015

“The job recovery is beginning but it’s going to be slow. U.S. labor markets, in general, now take significantly longer to recover after downturns than they did in the past,” says Beacon Economics’ Founding Principal Christopher Thornberg. “The phenomenon of the ‘jobless recovery’ appears to be a permanent part of the economic landscape.”

David W. Stewart, dean of UC Riverside’s School of Business Administration says that the future of the economies in Southern California’s inland regions lie in the industries that drove growth before the housing boom.“We have a significant, though often overlooked, manufacturing base to build upon,” Stewart says. “And we have the key locational advantages of distribution infrastructure, ready access to both domestic and export markets, and the potential for stable sustainable electricity rates with the growth of solar, geo-thermal, wind, and other new sources of energy. No other part of the country has this winning combination.”

The School of Business Administration used to release an annual economic forecast, and it has now been revived. “As a land grant institution and the only research-based business school in inland Southern California, it is our mission to stay engaged with the economic welfare of our region,” Stewart says.

Key U.S., California, and Riverside/San Bernardino findings from the forecast include:

  • United States: The decline in consumer spending has followed an extended period of overspending; do not look for a jump in demand driven by consumer spending.
  • California: Total nonfarm employment will cross the 14 million milestone in 2011 but will not reach its pre-recession peak of 15.2 million jobs until mid 2015
  • Riverside/San Bernardino Counties: Home sales will continue to fall into 2011 but will then return to growth driven by increasing population and pent up demand.

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