Southland economy solid
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card “We don’t forecast a bubble-bursting scenario in 2006,” Schniepp said. “There’s too much momentum.” The manufacturing sector stopped losing jobs and professional and business services jobs are strengthening, said Lisa Grobar, a professor of economics at California State University, Long Beach. Los Angeles County gained virtually no jobs from 2001 to 2004 but is now on track to post solid employment gains, she said. The housing market will likely have a soft landing rather than crash, with appreciation of home values down to single digits by the end of the year, she said. The conference also examined the challenges facing the region, such as traffic congestion and quality education. ARCADIA – Southern California’s economy is expected to remain steady despite a housing market cool-down, industry experts said Thursday. Economists talked to about 150 business and community leaders at the Southern California Association of Government’s ninth annual Regional Economic Forecast for Southern California at Santa Anita Park. International trade activity remains robust, consumer spending should remain firm and labor market growth is expected to remain stable, said Mark Schniepp, director of the California Economic Forecast Project. Home sales have slowed dramatically and home prices have leveled off, he said, but a recession is not looming. A person driving during peak hours in Los Angeles County suffered an average of 93 hours of delay, the highest among metropolitan areas in the nation, said Los Angeles Councilwoman Wendy Greuel. In 2003, for example, the total cost to the region’s economy due to traffic congestion was nearly $12 billion, she said. A proposed state infrastructure bond will address some of these traffic problems, she said, and local leaders will ask for more funds for mass transit and synchronization of traffic lights. “We must look at transit-oriented development to help solve problems with traffic,” Greuel said. Communities must improve infrastructure such as affordable housing and parks and recreation to attract qualified workers, said Anil Puri, dean of the College of Business and Economics at California State University, Fullerton. Southern California is competing not only with other states for business, but overseas markets. Outsourcing of labor is part of the global economy, Puri said. “We need to accept it as a permanent fixture of today’s economy,” he said. Southern California has technology, innovation and knowledge to fill the loss of lower-paying jobs, Puri said. “We have strengths. I’m optimistic that we are ready for the global race,” he said. “It will take some planning and realistic decision-making for that to happen.” Rodney Tanaka, (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2230 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!