The Inland Empire will add an estimated 46,600 jobs by the end of this year, continuing an economic expansion that began six years ago and shows no signs of slowing down, according to one of the region’s best-known economists.
Should that forecast hold up, the two-county region will have added 296,725 jobs between 2011 and 2017, John Husing stated in his latest quarterly report on the Inland Empire economy, which was released Sunday.
By the end of this year, unemployment in Riverside and San Bernardino counties will have dropped to 5.3 percent, down from 5.9 percent in 2016. More than 1.4 million people will be employed here, nearly 12 percent above the region’s pre-recession peak employment rate.
Since 2011, the Inland Empire has added more jobs than any of California’s major metropolitan markets except Los Angeles, having outperformed San Francisco, Orange County and the Silicon Valley, in that order, during that time.
“We just keep adding jobs, and I don’t think that’s going to change,” said Husing, who has been analyzing the Inland Empire economy since the mid-1960s. “I don’t see anything out there that’s going to cause a recession.”
Logistics and construction continued to lead the Inland Empire’s economic growth during 2016, adding 8,433 and 6,808 jobs respectively. Those sectors are expected to add 8,500 and 7,500 jobs by the end of this year, according to Husing’s report.