The City of Long Beach saw another decline in unemployment rate in March 2017 to a low of 4.7%, compared to 5.5% around the same time in 2016. The unemployment rate in Long Beach reached a peak of 14.6% in July 2010, and has dropped nearly 10% since before the recession. The State of California rate for the same period was 4.9%.
“Our local economy and job growth is booming,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “In just a few short years, Long Beach has cut our unemployment rate in half and we have added thousands of jobs. It's one of the most impressive turnarounds of any big city in the country."
City leaders have been working on plans to build on recent economic successes. In response to a request by Mayor Robert Garcia and the City Council, the Economic Development Commission, an advisory group to the City Council, in collaboration with the Economic and Property Development Department, prepared a Draft Blueprint
for Economic Development (Blueprint) that provides a snapshot of economic trends in the City, and makes recommendations to the Mayor and City Council about opportunities for growth in key industries, business assistance, and economic inclusion among other focus areas.
The preparation process of the Blueprint consisted of detailed economic analysis by Beacon Economics, stakeholder interviews, focus groups, and public study sessions with industry experts. In April, the City Council adopted the Blueprint to catalyze more economic opportunities for workers, investors, and entrepreneurs.
The good news of Long Beach’s unemployment rate decline reinforces similar themes to the positive report on the City’s near-term economic prospects that economists from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and Beacon Economics
presented at the 2017 Regional Economic Forum
, which took place at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center this month.
At the forum, Christopher Thornberg, Founding Partner at Beacon Economics, provided an overview
of regional and national trends. Professor Wade E. Martin, Chair of the Economics Department at CSULB, shared that the number of local jobs has reached its highest point since before the recession and provided an overview
of local economic numbers. Jennifer Didlo, President of AES Southland, highlighted projects
like the $1.3 billion modernization of its electricity generation plants, which will generate over 4.7 million hours of construction-related work statewide, and will contribute $8 million annually to the local economy over the lifetime of the plant.
“Our day-to-day mission is to increase economic opportunities for workers and business owners,” said John Keisler, Director of the Department of Economic and Property Development (EPD). “This starts with helping connect local businesses with the workforce they need to be successful.”
City staff together with the Commission and community partners will develop a work plan that details specific activities, estimated costs, and potential resources to advance the vision of Long Beach as a City of opportunity for workers, investors, and entrepreneurs.
For more information about workforce training programs and incentives for businesses to hire new workers, the City offers a number of innovative programs at the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network
.About Economic & Property Development
The mission of the City’s Economic & Property Development Department
is to create economic opportunities for workers, investors, and entrepreneurs. This includes making it easier to start and grow a business, streamline the process for property development, and provide businesses with a skilled workforce. The Department includes Property Development, Business Development, and the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network
. For more information on the Economic & Property Development Department, please visit www.longbeach.gov
or follow us on Twitter @LBEconDev