Modest economic gains expected for OC

In Local News, News

Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties will lead modest improvements in several areas of Southern California’s economy in 2013, according to a report by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC).

The report predicted that local financial activities and government spending will continue to trail, while high-tech manufacturing and services, tourism, entertainment and construction will pick up.

The LAEDC also projected that California’s growth will outpace that of the rest of the country with strong signs that boosts in certain sectors will cause the state’s 9.8 percent unemployment rate to fall to 8.9 percent in 2014—faster than that of the country.

The LAEDC predicted that Orange County’s unemployment rate will fall from 7.1 percent this year to 6.5 percent in 2014. The current national unemployment rate, 7.6 percent, is expected to fall to 7.3 percent in the same time.

Orange County is also expected to add 22,300 payroll jobs, a 1.6 percent growth, by the end of the year.

Irvine ranks No. 28 in the United States for industrial jobs, with several high-tech manufacturing firms concentrated around the Irvine Spectrum, according to Manufacturer’s News.

The city also hosts the North American headquarters of several major international companies, such as Kia, Mazda and Toshiba.

Moderate growth will continue for the U.S. as a whole if the threat of inflation remains low, the report said, but is faced by risks like economic uncertainty in Europe, the fluctuation of oil prices and the ongoing political disputes concerning the federal budget and national debt.

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