The Slow Track to Economic Recovery

As Californians continue to weather the economic storm, a new study suggests that it might take a little longer than we thought to get out of the woods.

UCLA Anderson put out the predictions in this latest report and, while conditions are getting better economically, things won't start to look more Rosy until late 2011.  That's when they believe job growth in the state will be on the up

"The worst is behind us."  That's according to Brad Kemp, the director of regional research with Beacon economics. That's encouraging to hear considering all of the bad news over the past few years has many wondering if things will get much worse before they get better.  It appears that's a one-two punch that won't be coming.

But people need jobs and there haven't been many lately.  Stephen Levy is director of the Center For Continuing Study of the California Economy.  He points out that much of the reason for a small surge in unemployment recently is due to temporary census jobs going away and the lack of growth in the private sector.  

The Golden State doesn't have the highest unemployment rate in the nation.  At 12.3% the state is outpaced only by Nevada (14.3%) and Michigan (13.1%).

Then there's the problem with the housing market.  People aren't buying many houses in California right now.  California's resale housing market is about as neutral as Switzerland.  Anxious buyers are slow to commit when they know they might not be able to pay the monthly note.  

In Northern San Diego county this past July home sales fell 34.3% since August 2009.  Condo sales were down 23.4% in that same period.  Not much better in Riverside county where home sales took a 16.1% bath compared to last year.  That's according to real estate firm MDA DataQuick.

If the numbers coming out of UCLA Anderson are correct it will be at least a year before we see the kind of economic turnaround the people of the state really need.  For those in the unemployment line that's a long time to wait.  

California's economic train continues to chug along and there's light at the end of this dark tunnel.  While we'd all like the economy to improve with the speed of a high-speed bullet train, the reality is we've got a little farther to go in this old locomotive.


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