More Predictions About California’s Economic Outlook in 2011

Focusing on the Central Valley, the part of California hit hardest by the implosion of the housing and construction industry, unemployment in several key areas will remain in the high double digits for at least the next two years, according to the Business Forecasting Center at the University of the Pacific in Stockton.

In its October 21 predictions, the forecasting center says there will be unemployment of 17.5 percent in Stockton in 2011, 17.8 percent in Modesto and 19.4 percent in Merced.

The forecast estimates a statewide unemployment rate of 11.9 percent for the year. There is only margin improvement in all those unemployment rates in 2012. According to the forecast.

However, while almost no employment growth is predicted for 2011 – some .3 percent in each area — each of those areas will experience some employment growth in 2012, a bit above 2 percent.

Statewide, the report says California will add 210,000 jobs between now and October 2011. It also says that retail job loss has bottomed after declining more than 10 percent.

The largest decline in jobs between 2010 and 2011 is the public sector – including schools. State and local government jobs will remain flat through 2012, one of the reasons the forecast cited for Sacramento’s weak economic outlook over the next two years.

Manufacturing is making a slow recovery, the forecast repots. UOP predicts next year will be the first increase in California manufacturing employment in a decade.

Good news for the Bay Area and other coastal areas: professional and ”scientific service” jobs will increase by 5 percent next year adding the regions of the state where these jobs are concentrated.


Filed under: Budget and Economy

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