Los Angeles Business Journal

Forecast: Modest L.A. Job Growth This Year and Next

By Howard Fine Wednesday, February 19, 2014

L.A. County will continue to add jobs, but at a frustratingly slow pace, according to a forecast the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. released today.

The county will add nearly 60,000 jobs this year for a 1.6 percent growth rate, matching the growth of last year, according to the forecast. But job growth will slow to 1.2 percent next year as the county adds only about 48,000 jobs. That means it will likely be 2017 – a full decade – before the county reaches its 2007 pre-recession peak of 4.12 million jobs.

“The county enters 2014 with momentum from a labor market that slowed during the second half of 2013,” the forecast states.

By category, the largest job gains this year are expected in health care and social assistance, up 14,000 jobs, followed by leisure and hospitality, up 9,000. Construction and manufacturing are each expected to gain roughly 5,000 jobs. Only categories of real estate and information (which includes film) are forecast to lose jobs – roughly 1,000 each.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate, now about 9.2 percent, is forecast to drop to 8.7 percent this year and 7.8 percent next year.

Personal income is expected to grow about 4.5 percent this year and next, while taxable sales should grow about 5 percent this year and 6 percent next year. The total number of visitors is expected to increase more than 2 percent this year and 3 percent next year.

Housing permits are forecast to increase nearly 35 percent this year, while non-residential building permits are expected to jump 13 percent.