By Jim Steinberg, San Bernardino Sun
Posted: 11/21/13, 6:37 PM PST |

The Inland Empire took the biggest hit in personal per capita income growth during the recession among Southern California regions in a federal study released Thursday showing decreasing income growth levels nationwide.

When the construction industry is clobbered, as it was in the recent recession, “it hurts the inland region more because so many who work in that sector live here,” said Randall Lewis, executive vice-president of Upland-based Lewis Operating Corp.

The significantly diversified Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metropolitan area slowed from a 4.3 percent growth rate in 2011 to 3.5 percent last year, while the more construction-oriented San Bernardino-Ontario-Riverside metropolitan area plummeted from 4.5 percent in 2011 to 2.6 percent last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

“This result is not surprising considering the Inland Empire (San Bernardino and Riverside counties) has the highest unemployment for any region in the country of over a million people,” said Redlands-based economist John Husing, who focuses on the Inland Empire.

In the Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura metro area, personal per capita income growth fell from 5.4 percent to 3.3 percent while the San Diego-Carlsbad region fell from 5.8 percent to 3.4 percent.

Nationwide, personal income growth slowed in 311 metropolitan areas, accelerated in 65, and remained unchanged in five.

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