Valley growth called slow, steady

first_imgThe economic engine of the San Fernando Valley is growing slowly and steadily, according to a report released today at the 2007 San Fernando Valley Economic Summit. This year, job creation is expected to grow by 1.5 percent, and worker earnings are forecast to rise about 3 percent. “Things are humming along nicely,” said Daniel Blake, who wrote the forecast and is director of the Economic Research Center at California State University, Northridge. At what Blake calls a sustainable rate, Valley businesses will add 10,000 jobs this year, and that will rise by more than 2.5 percent in 2008 and 2009. The information industry, including entertainment jobs, will grow by about 4 percent each year through 2009. Manufacturing will slide 0.9 percent this year and continue slipping in 2008 and 2009. Construction will drop 4.5 percent after logging three consecutive years of hot, rate-busting job growth. Employment in secondary services, such as salons and automotive repair, will jump by 5.5 percent, and the growth will be 2.9 percent in transportation and utilities. Worker earnings will pick up by 2.8 percent to 3.2 percent, with public-sector wages and salaries rising more slowly than those in the private sector. Consumer spending on retail items will rise about 1.7 percent, enough for established businesses to expand and new ones to open. The local economy does not always mirror the region’s, and the Valley’s growth will outpace growth of Los Angeles County and the state as a whole. “It’s very consistent, very sustainable,” said Bruce Ackerman, president and chief executive of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley, which is hosting today’s summit. Lack of blockbuster growth means there is no “hard landing we have to worry about.” While the forecast is for steady growth, there is still potential for drama, said Jack Kyser, chief economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. Inflation remains a concern, and three union contracts that cover 144,000 television writers, directors and actors expire in the next 17 months. “In the Valley, what people are wondering is what is going to happen with the entertainment industry,” Kyser said. For the forecast, Blake crunched numbers in the past four months from a variety of sources. Sources included unemployment insurance records for the Valley, a survey of 70 midsize local businesses and the UCLA Anderson Forecast. Blake did not calculate the margin of error but said past forecasts have been accurate to less than 1 percent. [email protected] (818) 713-3735 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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