Tech to Drive L.A. Into 2021 as Economy May Dodge Recession

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Technology employment will remain a driving (yet socially unequal) force in the greater Los Angeles region’s economy, job and salary markets as the national economy is poised to barely dodge a recession and continue growing slowly into late 2021.

That’s according to the most recent forecast published by the UCLA Anderson Forecast’s “Autumn 2019 Economic Update” conference in late September.

The keynote speakers’ opinions spotlight intriguing viewpoints, trends and projections so your credit union can plan appropriately:

Los Angeles County is poised to experience its own economic slowdown — but not quite a recession — as the state and national economies continue slowing. U.S. economic growth will probably stall in the second half of 2020 as the effects of the 2017 U.S. congressional tax cuts abate and trade tensions exact their toll on corporate and business investment. “Real” Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will probably come in at 2.1 percent in 2019; 1.2 percent in 2020; and climb back to 2.1 percent in 2021. Consumers and businesses probably won’t experience a recession in 2020, but local and national economic growth will hover around what feels like a near-recession pace for a couple of quarters that year.

Los Angeles County’s current unemployment rate (4.3 percent) will rise between early 2020 and late 2020. It will float higher in tandem with California’s rising unemployment rate (currently 4.2 percent), which will hit 5.1 percent by autumn of 2020. This is still in the “average” range by historical standards — and for 2020 and 2021, California’s unemployment rate will average 4.6 percent (not a low as today but still historically on the lower side). The national economy’s projected slowdown will put a noticeable damper on the immense amount of current job openings, just as more individuals are entering the labor force (adults who are willing and able to work) for the first time — or older individuals re-entering.

Los Angeles County’s total annual employment growth will remain steady into late 2021, but at a noticeably slower pace compared to the past few years. “Total” employment growth equals a yearly net-positive in company payroll jobs combined with freelancers, entrepreneurs, independent consultants, and some small business owners. Additionally, the pace of yearly median worker wage and “real” personal income growth will both continue at moderate paces over the next two years — nothing spectacular; however, they are not forecasted to slow down. “The continued growth in real personal income in 2020 is reflective of the changing mix of employment in California and tight labor markets in high-wage occupations,” the forecast report states.

Click here to view the entire local forecast report.

You can also click here to view the League's "Your Economy — Your Credit Union" resource web page!

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