UCLA Anderson Forecast: Employment will pick up in California


/*UCLA Anderson Forecast*/ Senior Economist Jerry Nickelsburg headed the annual study of California's economy. His forecast is for good news for job creation in a state that has an economy growing more rapidly than the national rate.

"This recovery, even though it's slow, is being led by investment in equipment and software, by exports and by energy, and those are things that California does well," said Nickelsburg. "So California is kind of at the leading edge of this recovery."

The unemployment rate in California is still quite high at nearly 11 percent, but more jobs are being created and more people are finding work.

The /*UCLA Anderson School of Management*/ forecasts unemployment this year at 10.7 percent. In 2013 the forecast number drops to 9.8 percent. In 2014 it is forecast to be 8.5 percent.

That doesn't reflect the new U.S. Census figures that show nearly 7 million Californians are living in poverty. The statewide poverty rate hit 16.6 percent last year, up from the year before. And the median income for Californians dropped nearly 4 percent.

The economists, businesspeople and academics at the Anderson School conference focused on the economic projections.

"The outlook for the state of California looks better than it has," said Nickelsburg. "We're seeing widespread growth both geographically and across sectors. It's still slow growth, but it is gradually improving, so the outlook is getting better and better."

So it's not projected to be rapid growth. But a slow steady growth means unemployment will continue to go down in California, and that's good news for everybody.

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