Central Coast: Slow-Growing Amid Land-Use, Housing, Job Issues

Image of ocean pier

The Central Coast’s housing unaffordability, land-use policies and labor market issues continue hampering many households’ ability to thrive even as the five-county region’s economy is poised to keep growing in 2020 — although Ventura is the exception to this growth projection.

(Join Dr. Robert Eyler for the “2020’s Big Questions: Economy, Rates, and President Trump” webinar on Monday, Dec. 9 at 10 a.m. Pacific)

That’s according to the most recent forecasts published by the Central Coast Economic Forecast and California Lutheran University in November. The keynote speakers’ opinions spotlight intriguing viewpoints, trends and projections so your credit union can plan appropriately:

The Central Coast region’s economy is poised to continue growing in tow with the entire state throughout 2020, but it continues facing unique housing and labor market issues that hamper locals’ ability to thrive. From Ventura in the south to Monterey in the north, the area continues to be driven by a unique economy based on tourism, leisure/hospitality and seasonal agriculture, among other industry sectors. However, the state’s broader problem of housing stock and affordability is particularly hitting Central Coast workers and households hard. For the most part, jobs remain in plenty. However, creating higher-paying jobs and lower-cost housing is having its affect.

For the latest local trends on the Central Coast economy: click here to access the forecast conference presenter’s slide presentation on trends in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, and Santa Cruz (pages 14, 16, 20, and 22 – 49). Trends include data on health care; household earnings and income industry breakdown; business activity and airport growth; labor market, employment, venture capital and business formation; education, earnings, population and growth slowdown; home affordability, rents, vacancies and sales; housing stock, residential permits, construction and commercial permits; and industrial, workforce and environmental tools.

The big exception to the general rule for the Central Coast region is Ventura County’s economy, which will grow by just fractions of a percent (only 0.1 – 0.2 percent “local GDP”) in 2020 and 2021 as it remains in a prolonged period of weakness. Like past recent years, the local economy is increasingly driven by worsening negative net domestic migration (a contraction in people moving in the area, which impacts local labor force levels). Additionally, the county’s population will continue to shrink. This erosion is a local phenomenon that started five years ago due to high housing costs and low local birth/fertility rates. Average economic growth (“local GDP—Growth Domestic Product) was 0 percent from 2014 – 2018.

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!

Additionally, download Chmura Economics and Analytics’ latest Southern California Economic Overview to see 10-year future trends in worker occupations, employment, wages, cost of living, and industries.

Pin It