Growing and Growing
- Yes there is growth, but no one likes to talk about water. You cannot keep building water guzzling business and cites in a desert. At some point the drought will drive the entire California economy into a depression unless meaningful actions are taken.
(ONTARIO) - The Inland Empire has returned to its place as one of the fastest growing economies in the state, said John Husing, chief economist of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership business advocacy group, at his annual State of the Region address.
Husing told the crowd of 400 leaders and members of the business community that the region had recovered the number of jobs it had lost during the recession.
“I think when you have 400 people come together and you hear such a positive message, with people applauding when we talk about the number of jobs being created in logistics, manufacturing, and healthcare, that’s all positive,” said Paul Granillo, president and CEO of the IEEP, which sponsored the event. “A job is the best thing people can have, and in a region like ours, the more jobs we have means that our quality of life is going to get better and better.”
|California's Inland Empire|
San Bernardino and Riverside Counties
Husing also was happy to tell the audience that the Inland Empire, comprised of both San Bernardino and Riverside counties, added more jobs than any other area of California, except for Los Angeles, beating out the Bay area — another economic powerhouse in the state.
“It means we’re turning to the role we have historically had for the last 15 to 20 years,” Husing said. “We have often been one of the strongest economies in the state. We lost that because of the housing downturn of the great recession, but we’ve now gained it back.”
Husing forecasts the region will add about 51,200 jobs this year, with a growth rate of about 3.9 percent. That’s coming after 53,117 added last year, and 51,075 in 2013, he said.
“It will be the first time we’ve ever had three years in a row with growth over 50,000,” Husing said. “We’ve all lamented the fact that the economic recovery has been so slow. In fact, what it has done is put us on a very solid foundation where you can get continual growth of this size.”
The region’s logistics sector, or the jobs related to the warehousing and transportation of goods to and from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach throughout the Inland Empire, carried the most job growth in the past year, Husing said.
He said a strong dollar, while hurting manufacturing because of weak exports, is actually helping the Inland Empire, because increased imports benefit the region’s logistics business with more goods coming through.
Also helping the industry is the continual growth of online shopping, which has led to an increase of distribution warehouse centers, such as the large Amazon fulfillment centers in Redlands and San Bernardino. Experts say the region should expect more to come in the future.
“The one that’s really the growth engine is logistics,” Husing said. “Like I said, if anybody is going to oppose logistics, they’ve got to walk around naked and not use any electronics.”
Read more at San Bernardino County Sun.
The Inland Empire's other growth industry.