Los Angeles Business Journal

Forecast Sees Pick Up in L.A. Job Growth

By Howard Fine Thursday, May 10, 2012

Job growth in Los Angeles County and the region should pick up this year and accelerate next year, according to a forecast released by California State University Long Beach.

Los Angeles County should add about 60,000 jobs this year for a growth rate of 1.6 percent, well above the 0.6 percent pace set last year, according to economists at the university. Next year should be even better, with 80,000 jobs added for a growth rate of about 2.1 percent.

“We are approaching a more healthy pace of job formation for the first time in several years,” said Lisa Grobar, the forecast director and an economics department faculty member.

The report noted that job growth is being led by cyclical sectors, such as retail, professional and business services and leisure/hospitality. Even construction, decimated by the housing bust, is adding jobs for the first time in five years, particularly in the county.

The only major downside remains government employment as cities, counties and school districts continue to slash jobs to balance budgets. But the forecast said the sector should stabilize next year.