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CSULB Faculty Forecast Slow Regional Economic Improvement

The region’s economy will slowly show signs of improvement, with weak, sporadic job and wage growth through 2011, according to CSULB’s 2010-2011 Regional Economic Forecast presented earlier this month by Joe Magaddino, chair of the CSULB Economics Department, and Lisa Grobar, professor of economics and director of the Economic Forecast Project.

“At a national level, the recession is over, and that’s great news, but there are a lot of real challenges ahead. We’re in the process of recovering and working out of the big hole that we dug ourselves into,” Magaddino said. “The biggest problem we face is going to be the unemployment rate. It is going to take some time to regain the number of jobs that have been lost, both nationally and regionally. Additionally, we need to keep our eyes on the Fed. If the Fed isn’t timely in the moves it needs to make, we face a real serious prospect of inflation.”

Magaddino and Grobar forecast unemployment in Long Beach at about 13 percent for 2010, dropping to 10 percent in 2011. Most sectors, with the exception of state and local government employment, will see job losses slow significantly. Tourism and hospitality, healthcare, trade and logistics will see the most growth, adding jobs in the coming months.

Orange County, which has been in the recession longer than the rest of the five-county Southern California region, will lead the way out of the downturn, according to the economic forecast. However, the county will still see job losses this year. By 2011, Orange County is expected to add more than 19,000 jobs and by 2012 employers will add 30,000 jobs.

The Regional Economic Forecast was presented at the 16th annual Regional Economic Forecast Conference at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach on May 13.

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