Inland Empire Leverages Housing and Jobs in Late-Cycle Economy

Warehouse with goods

Even as the broader economy moderates in 2020, the Inland Empire’s expansion is still on track to relatively outpace several other regions in the state as job creation and housing affordability remain important, unique local drivers of business and consumer activity.

That’s according to the most recent forecasts presented and published by Economics and Politics Inc., Chapman University, and Yardi Matrix. The keynote speakers’ opinions spotlight intriguing viewpoints, trends and projections so your credit union can plan appropriately.

The Inland Empire’s economic growth will continue moderating in 2020 due to a lack of workers in certain hard-to-fill jobs and impacts from U.S. foreign trade policies with China. Although still a hotspot compared to the Southern California region surrounding it, the Inland Empire is feeling the late-cycle economic effects that the state and nation are going through. The region’s bright spot is still relatively cheaper land for construction builders, lower housing/mortgage and rent costs for households, and robust payroll job growth by local employers in nearly all occupational categories.

The Inland Empire — while slowing down — is still at the forefront of economic growth and job creation compared to all other counties/areas in Southern California. A total of 36,000 jobs could be added to the Inland Empire’s employment base in 2020, continuing a “winning” streak of stellar, robust performance compared to other geographies in California. As housing costs plateau in many areas across California’s coasts and high-priced neighborhoods, annual home-price appreciation in the Inland Empire is slowing down (but still growing). The region still remains a magnet for growth in business activity, job creation, worker absorption, and household formation due to its relatively lower cost of living.

The Inland Empire suffers from same labor market issues as the state and nation, but in its own unique way due to the region’s industry base and worker demographic. It is difficult to find labor “at the right price, with the right skills, in the right city,” the forecast presentation states. In the United States, currently there is less than one unemployed person for every one job opening (representing a very tight labor market) — and the Inland Empire’s job market is a good local example of this trend. What doesn’t help is total housing production, which is “unlikely to catch up" to household formation anytime soon (since new jobs and a tight labor market feeds into continuing new household formation).

Click here to view the entire Inland Empire forecast report on the “Your Economy—Your Credit Union” web page!

Pin It