Annual UCLA Anderson Forecast economic report: good and bad news


Unemployment in California is higher than the nation's unemployment rate and is expected to remain that way this year. That's the conclusion of the new /*UCLA Anderson Forecast*/. Residential construction will remain sluggish until 2013. The forecast finds it will take another two and a half years for California to get back to where it was in 2007.

"But that's not good enough because we have seven years since the start of the recession with increased population, increased needs for jobs, so we have to do even better than that and we will really not get back to full employment until a number of years later," said UCLA senior economist Dr. Jerry Nickelsburg.

More than 2,000 luxury homes and apartments are scheduled to be built at the new Baker Ranch development in south Orange County. But it doesn't answer a more immediate need for jobs.

California unemployment is currently at 10.8 percent. The UCLA forecast estimates the state unemployment rate will drop to 9.7 percent next year and 8.3 percent in 2014.

So it was mixed economic news delivered to economists at a UCLA meeting Wednesday. While indicators suggest a turnaround for the nation this year, the news is not as good for California since many of the unemployed are dependent on industries facing slow recoveries.

"We have a large number of workers here in California who are working in construction and manufacturing, and their jobs aren't coming back," said Nickelsburg. "So while they're skilled and they want to work, they don't have the skills that are being demanded."

The message from the UCLA economists is it's going to be a very slow recovery. People and businesses should plan and save accordingly.

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