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Employment up, wages down, finds report
job fair pic2
Overall Valley employment is increasing, with a more than 1.2 percent increase per county of total people employed in 2013. - photo by Journal file photo

Locals seeking employment can rest assured that their odds of attaining a job are increasing as several sectors in the San Joaquin Valley are growing and employing more people, despite a slight decrease in wages.

California State University, Stanislaus Foster Farms Endowed Professor of Business Economics Gökçe Soydemir recently released a midyear update to his third annual Business Forecast Report that tracked trends in Valley industries that currently employ more than 1.6 million people – a 1.63 percent growth that indicates continued growth over the next two years.

 “This rate is more typical of long-run growth behavior in the Valley,” stated Soyedmir’s report. “The projections point to a steady rate of 1.75 percent of average growth in the two-year forecasting period.”

While overall Valley employment is increasing — reflected in each county by the more than 1.2 percent increase of total people employed in 2013 —  two thirds of unemployed people are unskilled, which could pose concerns in the long term. For the time being, the Valley’s economic health is almost as good as the pre-recession years, despite the fact that wages have decreased by .04 percent.

Significant economic impacts from the drought have yet to be revealed, however, prices for dairy and meat can be seen creeping up in grocery stores. Next year will prove more telling based upon the climate and amount of rainfall. While other industries, such as financial activities, information, education, and health services, are not anticipated to grow anytime soon, the construction industry demonstrated the fastest growth and retail trade employment grew exponentially at four times the benchmark growth rate.

“Retail trade employment is beginning to show early signs of becoming another strong sector in the Valley,” stated the report.

Other industries that demonstrated high growth include trade, transportation and utilities employment; leisure and hospitality employment; and wholesale trade employment.