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California | REGIONAL ECONOMY

County's Job Growth Rate Expected to Rise

October 26, 2000|DARYL STRICKLAND | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Despite a sharp drop-off in the nation's economic growth next year, Los Angeles County should create more jobs in 2001 than this year, garnering a greater share than some of its neighboring counties, economists at Cal State Fullerton said Wednesday.

In their annual forecast, the economists said Los Angeles County's economy appears to have gained momentum this year, while growth in its neighboring counties has slowed. That picture isn't likely to change markedly next year, even though the nation's economic growth rate is projected to fall to 3.1%, from a sizzling 5.1% expected for this year.

Overall, the Cal State Fullerton forecasters are expecting Los Angeles County employers to add more than 75,000 payroll jobs next year--about 4,000 more than this year. Services, which include motion pictures, temporary help firms and software publishers, will account for 40% of those new jobs. Manufacturing employment, which has declined in the last two years, should hold steady next year, bolstered in part by increasing exports to Asia.

For much of the early part of the region's economic recovery and expansion, Los Angeles County had lagged. And in percentage terms, job growth in Los Angeles County--1.8% this year as well as in 2001--is still smaller than what is projected next year for Orange County, the Riverside-San Bernardino area and Ventura County.

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