Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Orange County poised to lose 43,200 jobs in 2009

February 24th, 2009, 1:30 pm
by Sarah Tully

Orange County is projected to lose about 43,200 jobs this year and employment will continue to drop in 2010, but at a slower pace, according to a new report on the economy.

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. predicts a bleak situation for Southern California, including Orange County, in its 2009-2010 Economic Forecast and Industry Outlook released last week.

This year's 2.9% Orange County job loss is expected to mostly be in finance and insurance, construction and retail, said the forecast. Next year, LAEDC expects Orange County to continue to bleed jobs, the employment loss will slow to 0.9% or 12,400 positions.

Orange County was hit hard by the collapse of the subprime lending industry, as well as a slowdown in tourism and the flattening of new home construction projects, said LAEDC economist Jack Kyser, who oversaw the forecast.

"That's why we're rather bearish about the economy in 2009," Kyser said.

Earlier Orange County economic forecasts ranged widely about the depth and length of the recession here:

Chapman University estimated a loss of 9,000 Orange County jobs this year in a report released in December.

"Negative forces" that will continue to be a drag on Orange County:

*A downturn in tourism.
*A loss of manufacturing jobs.
*A decline in non-residential construction.
*A decrease in new home construction permits.

LAEDC estimated the loss of nonfarm jobs should bottom out statewide by the end of 2009, dropping by about 3% for the year. The California unemployment rate could reach 10.5%.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

O.C. Home Affordabilty 9th Worst in Nation

February 23rd, 2009, 5:56 pm
by Jon Lansner/

An Orange County home was four times as affordable in 2008's fourth quarter as it was a year earlier — as measured by an index of the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo Bank.

Still, O.C.'s "affordability" was 9th worst among 222 big U.S. communities tracked by NAHB/Wells. (We were 11th worst in the third quarter!)

Details on O.C. stats from NAHB/Wells:

Just 33.5% of the homes sold in O.C. in the fourth quarter were affordable to the typical local household. (A year ago, 8.4% of the homes were "affordable.")

A 27% price drop in O.C. homes in the past year clearly drove increased local affordability.

So did a 7% increase in local incomes, according to NAHB/Wells math.
Nationally, 62.4% of U.S. homes selling were "affordable" as 2008 ended. New York City metro area was least affordable at 14%; Indianapolis was best at 93%.

Full Article HERE