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Southern California economy faces “uneven” recovery

Despite having recovered 70 percent of the jobs it lost due to COVID-19, Southern California’s economy will experience an uneven recovery in 2022, according to a forecast.

Labor shortages, the ongoing supply chain disruption, equity gaps and inflation will continue to plague the region’s economy during the next 12 months, the Southern California Association of Governments is predicting.

The report, released during the association’s recent annual Southern California Summit, credited Southern California’s economy with being diverse enough to withstand the most severe public health crisis in a century.

Even so, the impact of the pandemic has been significant: Southern California remains more than 500,000 jobs below its February 2020 total, even after having added 1.21 million during the past 19 months.

The region’s unemployment rate was 7.2 percent in September, well above both the state and national averages – 6.4% and 4.8%, respectively, according to SCAG.

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