LA County Mid-Year Economic Outlook: Slow
Los Angeles County is expected to add jobs this year and next – but slowly – according to the mid-year economic forecast released today by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. The county will add 30,400 nonfarm jobs this year, representing 0.8 percent annual employment growth, according to the forest. While weak, that is still better than last year's growth of 0.6 percent, the forecast by the Kyser Center for Economic Research says. For 2013, the county's economy will add 45,800 jobs, a 1.2 percent increase.
"We're moving in the right direction, but we're moving at about half the speed that we ideally should be moving," Kyser Center chief economist Robert Kleinhenz said.
Skittish consumers – unwilling to spend like they did before the recession – are a key factor. The county's unemployment rate is projected to fall to an average of 11.5 percent this year, down from 12.3 percent last year, the forecast says. In 2013, the jobless rate is expected to fall to 10.8 percent.
There are some bright spots:
· International trade through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will continue to improve, with 14.5 million containers passing through this year and 15.1 million next year. (Although that is still below the 2006 peak of 15.8 million.)
· The entertainment industry saw 3.5 percent growth last year, adding 125,100 jobs. The sector is up 2.1 percent so far for 2012.
· The housing sector, which helped bring on the Great Recession, "looks like it's on the mend," he said.
And overall? The forecast still notes that if California were a nation, it would place No. 9 among the globe's economies, just behind No. 8 Italy and just ahead of Russia.
Read more in the Daily Breeze here.
Read the full report by the LAEDC here.