ISEA Employment Analysis


Job Growth in California Continues

Geographic Spread Improves, However Worries Remain

Bing Bai, faculty fellow at the Institute for Spatial Economic Analysis, University of Redlands, School of Business

This month, ISEA's California job market report finds year-over-year job growth in California continues and has been more geographically widespread. Although there are still areas in Northern California and the Central Valley that have seen job losses this month, other places have seen improvement. From a geographic perspective, the most significant improvement as compared to last month can be seen in the Sacramento area and the Inland Empire, areas that had been shedding jobs or idling last month. Many of those less fortunate areas have started adding jobs this month in a year-over-year comparison. Large counties seem to drive the job growth but a substantial share of job growth concentrates in the service-providing and retail industries. This is a basis for worries, as some of these retail jobs may be disappearing after the holiday season.

Year-over-Year Metro Market Findings in Southern California


  • The year-over-year job growth in Riverside and San Bernardino counties has improved to a great extent with more areas adding jobs (indicated in green on the map), less areas idling, and almost no areas shedding jobs compared with last month.
  • Most areas in the Inland Empire have started adding jobs this month with 1% to 3% job growth and a few small pockets have seen significant job growth (more than 3%) over the last year such as an area in southeast of Palm Springs and a few areas near Upland, Glen Avon, Belltown, Crafton, Adelanto, Winchester, Highland, and Blue Jay.


  • Moderate job growth (1% to 3%) in Los Angeles County is still concentrated in the Central LA areas plus a few areas in Lancaster, Palmdale, and Santa Clarita; however most areas in LA county appear idling (-1% to 1% job growth). 
  • Significant job growth (more than 3%) still appear in small pockets in Pasadena, San Gabriel, and West Covina as well as Beverly Hills this month; however a few places are still facing moderate job losses (-1% to -3%) such as Coastal San Pedro, Central Santa Clarita, and East of Palmdale.


  • Year-over-year job growth in Orange County remains modest and geographically widespread, however with more areas idling (-1% to 1% job growth). 
  • A small area in Orange has still seen job growth in excess of 3%, while the large area in the north of the county, where we had seen moderate (1% to 3%) job growth last month, has stepped into the idling status (-1% to 1% job growth).


  • Job growth in San Diego County has strengthened further this month with more areas showing significant job growth in excess of 3%, most areas showing 1% to 3% job growth and no more areas shedding jobs. 
  • In particular, areas near San Luis Rey, San Marcos, Escondido, Lake San Marcos, Leucadia, Encinitas, La Mesa, Central areas in San Diego County, San Diego Downtown, and the south areas along the border have seen significant job growth of more than 3%.

The researchers combined today’s data release on employment by industry from the California Employment Development Department with business pattern data by Zip code and industry from the U.S. Census Bureau to arrive at their projected values. The researchers point out that, given the data available to them, their projected values are only rough approximations of the true values, and that accuracy is higher for counties with larger populations. Despite those shortcomings, the observed patterns should still be helpful for decision makers in politics, businesses and organizations to determine where to best direct their efforts.

Contact: Johannes Moenius,, 909-557-8161, director, Institute for Spatial Economic Analysis, University of Redlands, School of Business

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