More new jobs may mean rise in economy

RIVERSIDE, Calif. Lisa Valencia graduated from nursing school earlier this year, and in the thick of the recession, finding a job seemed impossible.

"We went to a job fair, and it was very disappointing," said Valencia.

But perhaps things have started to change, especially in the health care field. Out of the blue, Valencia got a phone call from Loma Linda University Medical Center.

"She called me up and said we had some positions opening up and we'd like you to come for an interview. So I came and interviewed and got the position, so I was very fortunate," said Valencia.

This past month, Loma Linda University Medical Center has added 51 new jobs.

"And that is tremendously good news. It may mean we're at the beginning of a turn," said economist John Husing.

And we're starting to see a number of new jobs in Southern California.

L.A. County leads the way with more than 23,000 new jobs. The Inland Empire comes in second with 4,200 new jobs. Orange County has added 2,400, and Ventura County has added 800.

These are some of the highest numbers of new jobs we've seen in three years.

Still, unemployment numbers are so high that it's going to be a while before we see at turnaround, despite all the new jobs.

Unemployment is at 12.5 percent in California, which is more than four percent higher than last year.

And in the Inland Empire, unemployment is at 14.6 percent, which is more than five percent higher than last year.

"I think we're going to stick in the range where we are right now. Going into next year, California will see its rates come down before the Inland region does, and that will mostly be driven by the coastal counties which recover first," said Husing.

October was a very good month, seeing that it showed the largest number of new jobs created in the Inland Empire since 2006. To match the 2006 unemployment rate, the county would have to sustain last month's job-growth rate for two and a half years.

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