Southern California job growth will slow dramatically over the next three years, according to a forecast by Cal State Fullerton economists.
Payrolls in the region spanning Orange and Los Angeles counties and the Inland Empire will grow at a pace of 1.6 percent this year, 1.7 percent next year, and 1.9 percent in 2019, the university’s annual forecast, released Wednesday, Oct. 25, predicts.
That compares with an expansion of 2.6 percent in payroll jobs in 2016.
“While the national employment has been robust,” the report notes, “job growth in Orange County and California appears to have slowed down over the last several months. Southern California and Orange County, in particular, are in a local downturn as employment growth has stagnated.”
Economists Anil Puri and Mira Farka, authors of the report, write that “there does not seem to be an obvious trigger for the current drop in employment. The unemployment rate is still low by historical standards, and the economy appears to be near full employment.
“The growth rate of employment under such circumstances can be expected to slow down, but, short of an error in data reporting, a full rationale for such a slowdown is not apparent at this time. “
On the upside, they add that despite the lethargic job creation, “local business leaders continue to be enthusiastic about local economic conditions and housing prices are still rising.”
Across the region, the Inland Empire will continue to show the most vigorous payroll expansion, albeit slower than last year, the economists predict.