Los Angeles Business Journal

Forecast: Growth to Gain Steam in L.A. County

By Howard Fine Tuesday, February 25, 2014

L.A. County can expect to add more than 150,000 jobs over the next two years, according to an upbeat local forecast released today.

In the forecast, released during a conference at Loyola Marymount University, Christopher Thornberg and Jordan Levine of Los Angeles forecasting firm Beacon Economics project the county will add 72,000 payroll jobs this year for a growth rate of 1.8 percent and 85,000 jobs next year, for a growth rate topping 2 percent.

The unemployment rate, now at 9.2 percent, is projected to fall to 7.2 percent by the end of next year.

“The fundamentals have significantly improved,” Thornberg said. “The Los Angeles County economy will see steady but not stellar improvement over the next few years.”

This forecast compares favorably with one released last week from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. That forecast said the county will add fewer jobs over the next two years – with growth slowing next year – while the jobless rate would drop to 7.8 percent by the end of next year.

Both forecasts say personal income growth should remain in the 4 to 5 percent range this year and next, while taxable sales will grow about 6 percent each year.

Another survey released Tuesday found that 59 percent of 2,400 Los Angeles County residents polled said the Los Angeles region was headed in the right direction, with 28 percent saying the local economy would perform much better over the next five years. The survey was conducted by the Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University.