The Inland Empire rang in the new year with strong economic growth — even outperforming the state's economy. That's according to a new report released Thursday by the UCR School of Business. KVCR's Danielle Fox reports.
When it comes to job growth, San Bernardino and Riverside counties have done better than the state’s economy for several quarters running.
For all of 2018, California’s economy grew at a rate of about two percent, while the Inland Empire exceeded that pace at a rate between two to three percent. The leading sectors for job gains have been leisure and hospitality and transportation and warehousing.
Despite the current budget situation and government shutdown dominating the news cycle, economist Robert Kleinhenz says not to worry. He’s the Executive Director of Research at UCR’s Center for Economic Forecasting and Development.
“So many things playing out in the larger economy do not spell doom by any means for the local economy,” he said. “In 2019, we really expect it to continue to outperform the state in many regards. The unemployment rate is gonna stay at or near the record low where we are right now.”
But Kleinhenz says one disappointment of this economic expansion is that home ownership still hasn’t grown much since the recession.
“This continues to be a concern of ours because we've heard about housing problems that we have in all of California, and that includes the Inland Empire,” he said. “So the fact that we haven't really seen gains in the real-estate market means that we're not taking care of business in a really important aspect of the economy.
That said, Kleinhenz predicts 2019 will be a year of continued growth for the Inland Empire.