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Job Growth to Slow in all of California’s Major Metro Areas in 2019




Commercial Real Estate Activity, Rents Surging in Some Areas


October 18, 2018—LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA—Across California’s major metros areas, job growth is forecast to continue in 2019, but at a slower, and in some cases comparatively meager pace, according to new regional outlooks released today by Beacon Economics  Driven by a steadily tightening labor market and little growth in the workforce, the new forecasts for five of the state’s largest urban economies find that fired-up locations such as San Francisco and the South Bay/Silicon Valley will see job growth start to fall below thresholds they may have become accustomed to.

“Economic growth is going to continue in California, but 2019 is looking like the year when the jobs slowdown we’ve anticipated for some time begins to materialize,” said Robert Kleinhenz  Executive Director of Research at Beacon Economics. “It is highly unlikely that industries in the state’s biggest urban centers – from tech to professional business services to construction – will be able to hire at a the same pace we have seen in the past few years.”

According to the new outlooks, the unemployment rate in all of California’s major metros has also dropped – and from levels that are already historically low. This represents another indicator of the state’s tight labor market, says Kleinhenz, and that relieving that pressure will require addressing California’s high cost of housing and ensuring that the workforce can continue to gain from both domestic and international migration.

Key Findings By Region:

Los Angeles

  • Nonfarm employment in Los Angeles County experienced the slowest growth among California’s major metros between August 2017 and August 2018 due to a tight labor market and only marginal increases in the workforce. Employment in the region is forecast to grow between 1% and 1.4% through the end of this year and into 2019.
  • Commercial real estate markets in Los Angeles are performing well with the value of building permits issued doubling from the 2nd quarter of 2017 to the 2nd quarter of 2018.

East Bay

  • Between August 2017 and August 2018, total nonfarm employment in the East Bay rose by 1.8%, lagging neighboring San Francisco (+2.1%) and the South Bay (+3.8%) but still expanding thanks to increases in logistics, goods producing, and technical industries. The region’s employment growth is forecast to slow in 2019 due to tight labor conditions.
  • The cost of rent for office, retail, and warehouse properties in the East Bay all increased from the 2nd quarter of 2017 to the 2nd quarter of 2018 although commercial rents in the region remain lower than they are in San Francisco and the South Bay.

San Diego

  • San Diego’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.2% in August 2018, the lowest level it has been since 2000. Between August 2017 and August 2018, total nonfarm employment in the region expanded by 1.6%, driven largely by an expansion in the Professional and Business Services sector. This rate of growth is forecast to slow in 2019.
  • Office properties in San Diego should be interesting to watch over the next couple of years as more than one million square feet of development will be completed – something that is likely to impact vacancy rates and rental costs.

San Francisco

  • The San Francisco economy continues to shine with the lowest unemployment rate in the state (2.2% as of August 2018) – something that is unlikely to change in 2019. Job growth in the region is forecast to finish the year at about 2% but will dip below that pace next year as the local labor market continues to tighten.
  • San Francisco is atop national rankings in its commercial real estate markets with office properties leading the way. The vacancy rate at office properties in San Francisco (9.8%) is among the lowest in the United States and the annual cost of rent for this property type increased to $61.08 per square foot from the 2nd quarter of 2017 to the 2nd quarter of 2018.

South Bay/San Jose

  • The South Bay is leading the greater Bay Area in terms of job growth, adding 42,000 positions between August 2017 and August 2018 for a 3.8% rate of expansion. For all of 2018, nonfarm job growth is expected to come in at just over 3.5% but will drop below that threshold in 2019.
  • There is no cool down in sight for the South Bay’s commercial real estate markets. The average cost of rent for office space in the region is among the fastest growing in California on a year-over-year basis (4.5% compared to 4.2% in San Francisco). Rents have increased for both retail and warehouse properties in the region as well.

For complete findings, please view the full reports for the East BayLos AngelesSan DiegoSan Francisco, and the South Bay/Silicon Valley attached to this email.



Beacon Economics LLC is an independent economic research and consulting firm based in Los Angeles. Learn more at

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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Career & Workplace

The City of Rancho Cucamonga Recognized as U.S. Best-in-Class Employer by Gallagher 



Gallagher’s Best-in-Class Benchmarking Analysis Identifies U.S. Organizations That Excel in Optimizing Employee and Organizational Wellbeing 

The City of Rancho Cucamonga participated in Gallagher’s 2023 U.S. Benefits Strategy & Benchmarking Survey and was identified as an organization that excelled in implementing successful strategies for managing people and programs. The City of Rancho Cucamonga was recognized for its comprehensive framework for strategically investing in benefits, compensation and employee communication to support the health, financial security and career growth of its employees at a sustainable cost structure. 

Designations like Gallagher’s Best-in-Class Employer help current and potential employees understand and appreciate an organization’s workplace culture and people strategy; important differentiators as employers compete for talent in today’s labor market. 

“This award is a testament to the collective dedication and unwavering commitment of our team, reflecting the high standards we uphold in fostering a workplace that thrives on innovation, belonging, and employee well-being.” Robert Neiuber, Senior Human Resources Director, City of Rancho Cucamonga. 

A U.S. Best-in-Class Employer, the City of Rancho Cucamonga was assigned points based on its relative performance in: 

  • Plan horizons for benefits and compensation strategies 
  • Extent of the wellbeing strategy 
  • Turnover rate for full-time equivalents (FTEs) 
  • Completion of a workforce engagement survey 
  • Use of an HR technology strategy and its level of sophistication 
  • Difference in healthcare costs over the prior year 
  • Use of a communication strategy 

The City of Rancho Cucamonga understands that high employee expectations haven’t budged in the changing labor market and have regularly examined their formula to attract and retain talent,” said William F. Ziebell, CEO of Gallagher’s Benefits & HR Consulting Division. “In doing so, the City of Rancho Cucamonga utilizes data, workforce feedback tools and clearly defined policies to provide competitive benefits and experiences that their employees value.” 

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Career & Workplace

California Labor Market Closes out 2023 with Modest Growth, but Expect Adjustments when Annual Revision Hits in March



State’s Workforce Contracts Again; Unemployment Rate Ticks Up

California’s labor market grew modestly in the latest numbers, according to an analysis released today by Beacon Economics. Total nonfarm employment in the state expanded by just 23,400 positions in December, however, the sum of California’s metropolitan areas showed a more robust increase of 55,100 positions. November’s gains were revised down to 8,100 in the latest numbers, a 1,200 decrease from the preliminary estimate of 9,300.

“Although job and labor force growth has been muted, we caution against reading too much into these figures because this is the last release before the annual benchmark revisions in March,” said Justin Niakamal, Research Manager at Beacon Economics.

As of December 2023, California had recovered all of the jobs that were lost in March and April 2020, and there are now 508,100 more people employed in California compared to pre-pandemic February 2020. Total nonfarm employment in the state has grown 2.9% since that time compared to a 3.2% increase nationally. California increased payrolls by 1.7% from December 2022 to December 2023, matching the 1.7% increase nationally over the same period.

California’s unemployment rate rose to 5.1% in December 2023, up 0.2 percentage points from the previous month. The state’s unemployment rate remains elevated relative to the 3.7% rate in the United States overall. California is continuing to struggle with its labor supply, which fell by 3,600 in December. Since February 2020, the state’s labor force has fallen by 243,800 workers, a 1.2% decline. 

Industry Profile  

  • At the industry level, gains were mixed. Healthcare led payroll gains in December, with payrolls expanding by 9,100, an increase of 0.3% on a month-over-month basis. With these gains Healthcare payrolls are now 10.8% above their pre-pandemic peak.
  • Government was the next best performing sector, adding 8,100 jobs, a month-over-month increase of 0.3%. However, with these gains Government payrolls are still 0.3%, or 28,400 jobs, below their pre-pandemic peak.
  • Other sectors posting strong gains during the month were Leisure and Hospitality (7,100 or 0.3%), Education (4,100 or 1.0%), Manufacturing (2,600 or 0.2%), Other Services (1,300 or 0.2%), Wholesale Trade (1,200 or 0.2%), Retail Trade (1,100 or 0.1%), and Real Estate (1,100 or 0.4%).
  • Payrolls decreased in a handful of sectors in December. Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities experienced the largest payroll declines, with payrolls falling by 4,400, a decline of 0.5% on a month-over-month basis. Other sectors posting declines during the month were Administrative Support (-4,100 or -0.4%), Finance and Insurance (-2,200 or -0.4%), Information (-1,900 or -0.3%), Management (-400 or -0.2%), and Mining and Logging (-200 or -1.0%).

Regional Profile

  • Regionally, job gains were led by Southern California. The Los Angeles County (MD) saw the largest increase, where payrolls grew by 17,800 (04%) during the month. Orange County (6,800 or 0.4%), the Inland Empire (6,400 or 0.4%), San Diego (5,500 or 0.3%), Ventura (500 or 0.2%), and El Centro (200 or 0.3%) also saw their payrolls jump. Over the past year, Ventura (2.6%) experienced the fastest job growth in the region, followed by Orange County (2.1%), Los Angeles (MD) (2.1%), the Inland Empire (1.9%), El Centro (1.9%), and San Diego (1.5%).
  • In the Bay Area, San Francisco (MD) (6,500 or 0.5%) had the largest increase during the month. San Jose (3,000 or 0.3%), Napa (400 or 0.5%, Santa Rosa (400 or 0.2%), and San Rafael (MD) (200 or 0.2%) also saw payrolls expand. Over the past 12 months, Santa Rosa (2.9%) has enjoyed the fastest job growth in the region, followed by San Rafael (MD) (2.4%), the East Bay (1.9%), San Francisco (MD) (1.3%), Vallejo (1.3%), San Jose (1.1%), and Napa (0.8%).
  • In the Central Valley, Sacramento experienced the largest monthly increase as payrolls expanded by 2,400 (0.2%) positions in December. Payrolls in Fresno (1,500 or 0.4%), Merced (600 or 0.9%), Modesto (600 or 0.3%), Madera (300 or 0.7%), Redding (200 or 0.3%), and Yuba (200 or 0.4%) also saw their payrolls jump during the month. Over the past year, Sacramento (2.8%) enjoyed the fastest growth, followed by Yuba (2.7%), Modesto (2.7%), Hanford (2.4%), Fresno (2.2%), Visalia (1.9%), Bakersfield (1.1%), Stockton (0.6%), Madera (0.5%), Chico (0.3%), Merced (-0.3%), and Redding (-1.6%).
  • On California’s Central Coast, Santa Barbara (900 or 0.4%) added the largest number of jobs. Santa Cruz (500 or 0.5%) and San Luis Obispo (400 or 0.3%) also saw payrolls increase during the month. From December 2022 to December 2023, Salinas (4.61%) added jobs at the fastest rate, followed by Santa Barbara (3.4%), San Luis Obispo (2.7%), and Santa Cruz (2.4%).
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The Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce Announces the 2024 Human Resources Conference, led by Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Rudd & Romo (AALRR)



Uniting Leaders, Shaping Futures: Charting the Next Course in Human Resources

The Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Insight HR Consulting and presented by Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo (AALRR), announces the much-anticipated 2024 Human Resources Conference. Scheduled for February 15th, 2024, at the Jessie Turner Center, this event is set to be a landmark gathering for HR and business leaders.

Event Details:

  • Date: February 15th, 2024
  • Venue: Jessie Turner Center, [Full Address]
  • Title: 2024 2nd Annual Inland Empire HR Summit: Shaping the Future of Human Resources

The conference is hosted by The Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Insight HR Consulting. AALRR, a leading full-service law firm, is the presenting sponsor, bringing their extensive legal expertise in employment and labor to the forefront of the event.

“We are thrilled to sponsor and present at the upcoming 2024 Human Resources Conference,” said Amber Solano, AALRR’s Private Labor and Employment Law Practice Group Chair. “With all of the recent changes in the law, we feel this is going to be a valuable event for human resource and business leaders throughout the region.”

The conference offers an invaluable platform for professionals to engage with evolving trends and innovations in HR, preparing them to lead in the changing world of work.

Special Highlights:

  • Renowned HR thought leaders as keynote speakers.
  • Networking opportunities with industry experts and peers.
  • A special focus session by AALRR on the evolving legal landscape in human resources.

“The Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce is proud to collaborate with Insight HR consulting and leading speakers AALRR.  This partnership strengthens our commitment to delivering a conference that truly impacts the HR and Business community.” said Edward Ornelas, Jr., CEO.

For the event schedule, registration, and sponsorship details, please visit

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