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Ventura County Review

Some Signs of Life in County's Economy

November 16, 1993|JACK SEARLES

There are a couple of signs of renewed life in Ventura County's economy, but it's definitely too soon to break out the champagne, in the view of Mark Schniepp, director of the UC Santa Barbara Economic Forecast Project.

"Let's face it--with the unemployment rate at 9.4%, the job market in the county is taking a blood bath," he said.

"On the other hand, we have two positive trends. Sales of existing homes are starting to rise. They've been up for four straight months, thanks to low mortgage rates and migration from Los Angeles County."

In addition, two cities in the eastern county--Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks--have been enjoying an upsurge in retail sales, Schniepp notes.

"Consumer spending in those cities has been strong for the past two quarters. Both communities, incidentally, have had an influx of people getting out of L. A."

As for the county as a whole, however, Schniepp sees little to cheer about.

"It will be at least mid-1995 before the county's high-tech and manufacturing industries start doing any significant hiring."

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