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Jobs, income will improve, report says

Stanislaus County will continue to lose jobs through mid-2009, but employment and incomes will pick up after that, according to economic predictions made this week by the University of the Pacific's Business Forecasting Center.

The report shows Stanislaus' inflation-adjusted personal income growing at just 1 percent in 2008, which is less than one-third the 2007 growth rate.

"As the economy gets healthier in late 2009, (personal income) growth will gradually rise to average 2.4 percent per year between 2009 and 2010," the 68-page forecast states.

The number of Stanislaus jobs will decline 0.5 percent in 2008, according to the report. It says job numbers will decline 0.4 percent more during the first half of next year, then "gradually rise back up in the second half of 2009, prompting a positive 1.5 percent job growth in 2010."

Stanislaus' unemployment rate will rise "to 10.8 percent in 2008 and peak at 11.7 percent in 2009. The rate will slide back to 10.7 percent in 2010."

The university's forecast for Merced County also is mixed. The report predicts personal incomes in Merced will grow 1 percent in 2008 and 2009, then rise 3.3 percent in 2010. Merced's unemployment rate is expected to hit 13 percent in 2009 before falling to 12.1 percent in 2010.

San Joaquin County's outlook is better. The report forecasts personal income growth of 1.2 percent in 2008, 1.6 percent in 2009 and 4.1 percent in 2010.

The number of San Joaquin jobs is expected to grow 0.5 percent this year, decline 0.3 percent next year, and rebound by 1.9 percent in 2010. Unemployment is expected to peak next year at 10.8 percent, then fall to 9.8 percent in 2010.

For a complete copy of the report, go to http://forecast.pacific.edu.

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