Economy becomes mixed-bag in Inland Empire amid coronavirus pandemic

Economic Roundtable compiled data that measured job stability during the crisis by looking at three key factors in the Inland Empire.
A new study shows workers in the Inland Empire are at higher risk for losing their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Data compiled by Economic Roundtable measured job stability during the crisis by looking at three key factors: those who work in essential industries, those who have the ability to still do their jobs from home, and those who have salaried positions.

In San Bernardino and Riverside counties, only 26% of the workforce can still perform their duties at home, compared with 31% and 37% in Los Angeles and Orange counties, respectively. And when comparing the number of workers with salaried positions between those same areas, only 52% of workers in the Inland Empire are salaried, compared with 53% and 58% in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

But the study also showed strengths in the Inland Empire when it comes to the number of workers in essential businesses.

"The most essential business almost right now is e-commerce," said economist John Husing. "And almost all the e-commerce facilities in Southern California are in the Inland Empire."

And Husing pointed out another thriving industry in the Inland Empire: health care.

"They're really pulling back in retired nurses, retired docs and stuff, so that sector is being relatively robust."

Husing also remarked that because of the strength in some of those job sectors, parts of the Inland Empire could actually recover faster than other regions across the state.

"People who work in e-commerce and health care, and those sorts of firms, have pent up demand," said Husing. "And they have the cash. So once this (pandemic) releases, they're going to have the money to go to a restaurant; go to get take-out; get their hair done, etc. So for the year, we won't be in as bad of shape as some other areas."
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