The influential UCLA Anderson Forecast sees the California economy growing through 2018, with steady increases in personal income as the state nears full employment.
In the latest forecast, released Wednesday morning, Senior Economist Jerry Nickelsburg estimates real personal income growth in California will be 3.1 percent this year, 3.4 percent in 2017 and 3.0 percent in 2018.
Total employment growth is forecast at 2.0 percent this year, he said, declining to 1.6 percent in 2017 and 0.8 percent in 2018. California’s unemployment rate is expected to match the U.S. rate at 5.1 percent by the end of the forecast period.
“Employment in California has grown steadily and is now at record levels. The number of payroll jobs is now at 16.4 million and is 6 percent above its previous peak,” Nickelsburg said. “The number of people employed, including farm labor and the self-employed, is now at 18.1 million and 6.2 percent above its previous peak.
While the Golden State is doing well, Nickelsburg warns of a number of risks to its economy, including the upcoming presidential election, since the next president’s policies might have an impact on international trade, a sector on which California relies.
He noted that the coast, with its technology, information and international trade businesses, is doing better than inland California with its manufacturing and agriculture.
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