ISEA Employment Analysis


Annual Percent Changes in Employment in Populated Areas by Zip Code, Feb 2012

California Job Growth Is Slightly More Evenly Widespread; San Diego County Is Still Lagging Behind

Bing Bai, University of Redlands School of Business faculty member

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

March 23, 2011—This month, ISEA study finds year-over-year job growth in California has only a slight increase but more evenly widespread compared to last month's numbers. The small increase is largely driven by the private sectors as Silicon Valley is still leading the pack. On the one hand, last month’s significant job increases in the Inland Empire have disappeared this month; on the other hand, last month’s job losses in Los Angeles County have disappeared as well, which makes Southern California appear more even with moderate job growth more geographically widespread. San Diego County is still less fortunate this month remaining idling or even worse shedding jobs in a few locations.

The overall month-over-month job growth in California is getting better this month. Scattered locations in Bay Area, Redding, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles County have started adding jobs with 1% to 3% job growth this month compared with last month when the entire state had appeared red with almost no places posing new jobs. However, Central Valley, Yuba City, Red Bluff, Bakersfield, and a few pockets in Inland Empire are still shedding jobs this month.

Year-over-Year Metro Market Findings in Southern California


  • The year-over-year job growth in Riverside and San Bernardino has slightly accelerated with 1.3% job increase and the whole region remains steady this month. 
  • Most areas in Inland Empire show moderate job growth (1% to 3%) this month including areas where we had seen significant job growth (more than 3%) last month such as Highland, Fontana, Pedley, and Palm Desert; however a few locations have stepped back to idling status such as the area close to Canyon Lake and Sedco Hills and the area in the central location of Palm Springs.


  • The year-over-year job growth in Los Angeles County is slightly getting more evenly widespread this month with almost no areas severely shedding jobs; however the patchy pattern still remains, i.e. areas showing moderate job increases (1% to 3%) are next to the areas showing idling (-1% to 1%). 
  • Significant job growth (more than 3%) in South Pasadena, La Verne, and Downey still remains; promisingly, the orange zone (1% to 3% job losses) in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and Burbank and the red zone (more than 3% job losses) in Pasadena and North San Gabriel where we had seen moderate to significant job losses have disappeared this month.


  • The overall year-over-year job growth in Orange County has a slight increase this month (1.3% job increase) with more areas showing moderate job growth (1% to 3%). 
  • A few areas have stepped out of the idling status and started adding jobs (1% to 3% job growth) this month such as Buena Park, Santa Ana, Tustin, Lemon Heights, Cowan Heights, Irvine, and San Clemente; while Orange where had been the only place showing significant job growth (more than 3%) last month is not that fortunate this month showing moderate job growth (1% to 3%).


  • The year-over-year job growth in San Diego County remains in the yellow zone i.e. most areas still appear idling (1% to 3% job growth) this month. 
  • Grove is still the only place showing significant job growth (more than 3%) this month; in addition to Coronado, Rancho Santa Fe, and the Escondido area where had seen moderate (-1% to 3%) job losses last month, San Luis Rey has been added to the orange zone this month.

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.

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