April 21st, 2010 10:48 AM by Lehel S.
By Murray Coleman
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Job growth is seen for Orange County later this year but at a slower rate than originally predicted, according to an updated forecast by California State University, Fullerton economists.
After state revisions of annual unemployment rates earlier this year, the school now predicts jobs will grow here by a subtle 0.5%, or about 7,000, by the end of 2010, according to Anil Puri, dean of the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics at Cal State Fullerton.
In March, the state’s Employment Development Department revised Orange County’s 2009 job losses to 110,000, almost an 80% increase from original numbers.
The college makes public its forecasts for the local economy twice a year. The spring update also found that the median home price in the county of $481,000 still is 35% below its peak in spring 2007.
Puri said that the university’s economists only expect modest home price increases in 2010 and 2011.
In general, he said that signs are firming that the current recovery is sustainable.
Puri believes there’s a good chance the rebound could surprise with a stronger growth spurt in the latter half of this year.
“If consumers comeback in force this fall, we could have a bigger jump in the second half of the year than many are predicting,” he said. “It’s all about jobs at this point. The more people buy, the more confidence businesses will have to increase hiring.”