At a recent luncheon hosted by the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, the keynote speaker, Dr. John Husing, shared an update on the region known as the Inland Empire. It is good to know we have recovered from the Recession and have a bright future. After losing 8.71 million jobs there have been 16,065,000 job gains from January 2008 to February 2017. We rank the second largest absolute job gain in California in 2016. The current unemployment is at 4.4%.
The Inland Empire region is made up of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties with 4,508,660 people. This is compared to the size of a State. There are currently 25 States in the nation that are smaller than the Inland Empire region including Oregon, Hawaii, Kentucky and New Mexico to name a few. By 2040 the population is expecting to rise to 5.9 million people.
Construction is on the rise again in the region. Median home prices have returned to normal at 280,000 which is still a draw to Los Angeles and Orange County residents as the best affordable housing location in Southern California. Currently there are only 200 Vacant New Homes on the market. Apartment rental rates are up 4.25% with an average monthly rate of $1392.
The Hospitality industry in combination with retail, amusement, agriculture and employment agencies make up 39.6% of the regions job growth from 2011 to 2016. Overall the job growth forecast for 2017 is 46,600 new jobs. Looking ahead there is a strong future in Manufacturing, Health Care, Logistics, and Construction. With the amount of new hotels, entertainment locations, and restaurants the hospitality sector should do quite well in the Inland Empire.