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Inland Empire Helping To Drive California’s Economic Expansion

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IE Labor Force Edges Up; Median Home Price Appreciation Highest In SoCal


December 19, 2019— RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — Like California’s other major metro areas, the Inland Empire’s economy is defying recessionary fears and, in fact, is helping to drive the state’s continued economic expansion, according to an analysis released today by the UC Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development. Over the past year, the region has experienced a higher share of job growth than the nation, California as a whole, and neighboring Southern California metros.

“While employment growth in the Inland Empire, and across other geographies, has indeed slowed from previous years, it has not stopped or reversed and shouldn’t be interpreted as a sign of a downturn,” said Adam Fowler, Director of Research at the Center for Economic Forecasting. The Inland Empire’s annual job growth stood at 2% as of October 2019, outstripping growth in the United States (1.4%), California (1.8%), the Los Angeles metro area (1.3%), Orange County (1.2%), and matching San Diego County (2%).

“For the Inland Empire, the key takeaways in these numbers are the region’s overall competitiveness with other urban metros amidst a tight labor market, and that job growth is coming from a wide, healthy range of industries,” said Fowler. Of 15 employment sectors, only five lost positions over the year in the Inland Empire.

Importantly, in addition to job growth, the region’s labor force has expanded, albeit only slightly and at a slower rate than in past years. However, the 0.4% annual increase in the local labor force stands in contrast to contracting labor forces in nearby Orange County (-0.4%) and Los Angeles (-0.1%), as well as in the state as a whole (-0.3%).

“The healthier growth in the Inland Empire’s work force is being driven in part by one of the region’s most compelling competitive advantages – greater home affordability relative to surrounding areas,” said Fowler.

Other Key Findings:

Home Price Climb: As one of the last bastions of relatively affordable real estate in Southern California, home prices in the Inland Empire still have room to grow. The median price of a single-family home in the region rose 4.7% from the 3rd quarter of 2018 to the 3rd quarter of 2019. This surpasses price growth in the state as a whole (2.2%) as well as in every other Southern California metro (Los Angeles 3.1%, Orange County 0.3%, San Diego 0.1%).

Wage Pressure: Driven by a tight labor market, nominal wages continue to steadily increase in the Inland Empire, however not as quickly as in the state overall (3.8% vs 4.2% wage growth from the first half of 2018 to the first half of 2019). But as employers compete for talent from a limited pool, the upward pressure on earnings will continue.

Consumer and Business Spending: Higher wages and gains in employment have boosted spending in the IE. Taxable sales in the region jumped 4.1% on an annual basis compared to 3.7% in the state overall. And while every spending category expanded over this period, Business and Industry receipts, which represent business-to-business spending, topped the list at 4.2% growth.

Trade Stumbles: Trade through the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles totaled $313.1 billion in the first nine months of 2019, a 7.9% decrease from the same period in 2018. Not surprisingly, trade with China saw the steepest decline, but even if the trade war with that nation persists, it won’t end the current expansion in the U.S. or the region. Notably, freight activity through Ontario International Airport increased 3.5% in 2019.

Logistics Space in Demand: Newly added stock rather than declining demand has slightly increased the vacancy rate among warehouse and distribution properties in the Inland Empire. But the 4.4% increase in asking rents among these properties from the 3rd quarter of 2018 to the 3rd quarter of 2019 reaffirms strong demand from the region’s expanding logistics sector. Indeed, rent costs have not grown at the same pace in Orange County (2,3%), Los Angeles (2.9%), or San Diego County (3.1%).

The new Inland Empire Business Activity Index is now available. The Index tracks performance of the Inland Empire regional economy on a quarterly basis and is adjusted for seasonal variations. The composite indicator is estimated using a wide range of economic data including employment, economic output, income, real estate, and other indicators at the national, state, and metropolitan level. The Index is produced entirely by the UC Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development.

The UC Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development is the first major university forecasting center in Inland Southern California. The Center produces economic forecasting and policy research focused on the region, state, and nation. Learn more at UCREconomicForecast.org.

The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.

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Stater Bros. Charities and Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling Give Back to Military Families

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Stater Bros. Charities, the philanthropic arm of Stater Bros. Markets, partnered with Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling again this year for their Give Back program during National Military Appreciation Month. The program ran for the entire month of May, during which Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling committed to donating $0.25 per eligible product purchased to the Bob Hope USO. Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling donated $15,000, and Stater Bros. Charities matched their donation for a total contribution of $30,000.

A check presentation occurred during a K-EARTH 101 radiothon benefiting the Bob Hope USO. The radiothon took place at the Bob Hope USO at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) on June 29, 2023, where Stater Bros. Charities and Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling presented Bob Hope USO with a $30,000 check.

Bob Hope USO’s mission is to strengthen America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. The Give Back program is a unique opportunity to show gratitude and support to the brave men and women who risk their lives for our freedoms and to care for their families while they are away from home on deployment.

“Stater Bros. Markets has a long history of supporting veterans, service members, and their families,” said Danielle Oehlman, Director, Stater Bros. Charities. “We are so pleased to partner with our friends at Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling and the USO to give back to those who have given so much for us.”

Lorin Stewart, President, USO West Region, said, “We are deeply grateful to Stater Bros. Charities and Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling for being sustaining partners of the USO. The Give Back program embodies the essence of the USO mission by enabling the community at large to come together to support and give thanks to our armed forces and their brave military families in an impactful way.”

Funds will support the Bob Hope USO and USO San Diego Center operations, including programs and services that strengthen the social, mental, physical, and emotional well-being of local military service members, their families, and their communities.

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BDK Logistics Intelligence Fully Leases 114,190 SF Industrial Facility in Corona, CA

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Cushman & Wakefield represents landlord in lease in SoCal’s Inland Empire

Cushman & Wakefield announced that BDK Logistics Intelligence, Inc. has signed a lease for an entire 114,190-square-foot industrial facility at 1161 Olympic Drive in Corona, California. Situated in Southern California’s renowned Inland Empire, the building is owned by Monterey Rancho Mirage, LLC, which was represented by Brett Lockwood and Rick Ellison of Cushman & Wakefield in the transaction.

“We are pleased to welcome BDK to the property as a quality industrial tenant that is expanding its presence in the market, which it also currently occupies multiple warehouse facilities,” said Director Brett Lockwood. “Our client was instrumental in helping this deal transact as there were many variables that needed to be navigated which led to this lease coming together quickly and successfully.”

1161 Olympic Drive is a quality freestanding building situated on ±4.8 acres and features 20 dock high loading doors. The property is conveniently located off Interstate 15 near the confluence of SR 91 and is proximate to the extensive freeway network traversing the entire Greater Los Angeles region and into other major markets in and out of state.

According to Cushman & Wakefield’s latest Q2-2023 quarterly report, the Inland Empire industrial market posted an overall vacancy of 3.4% and has recorded more than 2.7 million square feet of positive net absorption through the first half of 2023.

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Hernandez resigns as County CEO; Snoke will continue filling in pending Board action

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Leonard X. Hernandez resigned from the post of County Chief Executive Officer effective today. County Chief Operating Officer Luther Snoke has been filling in for Hernandez while Hernandez has been on leave and will continue to do so. The Board of Supervisors will act to appoint an interim or permanent CEO shortly.

“The Board of Supervisors appreciates the service Leonard provided to the public and the County organization, especially as we navigated our way through the pandemic and other very difficult challenges,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Dawn Rowe.

Hernandez provided the following statement:

“It has been an extreme privilege to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of San Bernardino County. I am thankful to the Board of Supervisors for their leadership and the hard-working men and women who do amazing work every day. Due to an urgent family health issue that requires my immediate and undivided attention, I have informed the Board of my resignation. Under the strong leadership of the Board of Supervisors and the County’s executive team, the County will continue doing great things for the residents of San Bernardino County.”

“The Board of Supervisors is committed to a seamless transition in staff leadership with no interruption in County services or impact on County residents or employees,” Rowe said. “Luther has performed well filling in for Leonard and I am confident in his ability to continue serving in this role until the Board takes action.”

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