The unemployment rate in San Bernardino and Los Angeles County has decreased to its lowest level in seven years.
The Inland Empire added 4,700 jobs in March and 53,400 over the year at an annual rate of 4.2 percent. The two-county region’s jobless rate fell to 6.5 percent last month, the Employment Development Department (EDD) reported.
California employers improved their hiring pace in March with 39,800 new jobs, according to The Sun.
The state EDD reported California added 481,900 jobs at an annual rate of 3.1 percent, according to The Sun.
Karen Villarreal, a communications major, said she was impressed with the increase in jobs.
“Being a student and working on my bachelor’s and hearing about the increase in jobs gives me a better feeling that there will be jobs available when I graduate,” said Villarreal.
Villarreal feels relieved that our economy is not only recovering but expanding.
“Our generation is heading towards a better direction and with a better economy, we can have an easier lifestyle since the recession because we will have more jobs,” said Villarreal.
New job opportunities will benefit students who have graduated or are graduating in the next few years.
Maribel Casillas, a business major, said she feels hopeful because there will be more business opportunities available.
“I’m hopeful because it certifies that we will have more jobs available to us and it shows that the economy is improving,” said Casillas.
Data shows that the average U.S. household income in 2013 was $52,000, which is down from $56,400 before the Great Recession, according to The Sun.
The Inland Empire was a home-building destination before the recession hit. When mortgage loan defaults began piling up, developers either stopped construction or cut back on new residential projects.
However, California’s construction sector was the state’s fastest growing industry last year, adding 46,300 new jobs at a rate of six percent, outpacing every other sector, according to The Sun.
Los Angeles County employers also upped their hiring pace in March while the region’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.6 percent, down from 7.8 percent the previous month and 8.6 percent a year earlier, according to The Sun.
Monthly gains were also increasing in construction, trade, transportation, utilities and manufacturing, according to The Sun.
That was down from a revised 6.8 percent in February and below the rate of 8.9 percent one year ago, the EDD reported.
The region’s government sector posted the biggest monthly increase with 2,600 new jobs and other gains were seen in professional and business services, construction, financial activities and leisure and hospitality, according to The Sun.
The latest unadjusted unemployment figure for the Inland Empire region of San Bernardino and Riverside counties was 8.7 percent in August, according to John Husing, chief economist for the Inland Empire
Economic Partnership. September data will not be available until later this month, Husing said.
“What it’s telling you is the gap (between the national unemployment rate and the Inland Empire rate) has narrowed, but it’s still pretty wide,” Husing said. “We’re still running 2.4 percent higher than the national average.”
Husing said the new difference points to the fact that the Inland Empire economy has yet to fully recover, though he said he believes full recovery should come sometime in 2016.