John Husing

UNEMPLOYMENT
Region could make up all jobs lost in Great Recession by September 2015
SHEA JOHNSON
STAFF WRITER
Posted Jul. 22, 2014 @ 7:48 am / Updated at 7:53 AM

Even as the region lags behind the state, the economy in San Bernardino and Riverside counties is on track to fully recover all the jobs it lost during the Great Recession by September 2015, noted economist John Husing said Monday.

Husing’s projection comes after last week’s June unemployment report showing an increase in local jobless rates despite California dropping to its lowest figure in six years.

But Husing, chief economist for Inland Empire Economic Partnership, cautioned against relying completely on those numbers because the California rate is seasonally adjusted while the county and city rates are not.

In fact, the state’s unadjusted jobless rate rose 0.2 percent in June to 7.3 percent when compared to May, he said. The California Employment Development Department on Friday reported a 7.4 percent seasonally-adjusted jobless rate for June — a 0.2 percent decrease from May.

Adelanto (13.2 percent), Apple Valley (9.2 percent), Barstow (10.6 percent), Hesperia (10.9 percent) and Victorville (10.2 percent) each saw jobless rates rise from May to June.

But local job creation is the better barometer of the economy’s health, according to Husing, who said the Inland Empire at the end of last year had recovered 81,700 of 143,000 jobs lost during the peak of the recession.

“My instinct is we’ll get a pick-up,” he said. “We now have a ladder. By the end of the year, we’ll be 80.6 percent up that ladder.”

Assuming regional job growth in the second half of 2014 mirrors the year’s first six months, the region can completely emerge from the hole by adding 27,823 jobs in 2015, he said.

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