Their numbers vary slightly but economists are like-minded in their view of the local economy. It will continue growing this year and next — just not as much in the past couple of years. And the San Fernando Valley’s economy is expected to outperform Los Angeles County’s and the state’s through 2008. That’s the take from the San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center at California State University, Northridge. Daniel Blake, the center’s director, said the Valley, long considered a bedroom suburb of Los Angeles, is now a fully balanced community with an integrated economic base that employs a work force roughly equal to the number of its employed residents. Most sectors added jobs, but manufacturing continued to decline, the report noted. “It seems like if one area slows down a little bit, another area will pick up. The Valley has been a fairly dynamic economy,” Blake said when the report was released late in 2006. “We’re growing jobs faster than the population.” Valley unemployment insurance claims bottomed out in December 2005 and returned to normal seasonal patterns last year. And seasonally adjusted unemployment claims are currently below the lowest level recorded during the Valley’s 1995-2000 economic recovery. The residential real estate sector, which began slowing at the start of the 2005 fourth quarter, continued a long slow slide. And while it might feel like a recession to those in real estate, the housing cool-down won’t spread that condition to the rest of the state’s economy, economists at UCLA’s Anderson Forecast concluded this spring. “While there’s some wiggle room on how weak real estate will be and how much other sectors will offset this weakness, there is still no other sector that looks poised to combine with real estate to generate enough job losses to cause a recession,” UCLA economist Ryan Ratcliff said in his assessment. He is calling for job growth this year of 1.3 percent, moderating to 0.9 percent the next year, then ticking back up to 1.6 percent in 2009. And he doesn’t anticipate that the housing-sector troubles will trigger a replay of the early 1990s, when prices collapsed and foreclosures skyrocketed. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprnDownload Audio:Federal Court Striks Down Gay Marriage Ban in Idaho, NevadaAnnie Feidt, APRN – AnchorageThe 9th circuit court of appeals struck down gay marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada today. The federal court also has jurisdiction over Alaska, where five same sex couples are suing to overturn the state’s ban on same sex marriage.Arctic Summit Tackles A Diverse Spread of IssuesMatthew Smith, KNOM – NomeThe Institute of the North is in Nome this week for the fourth-annual Week of the Arctic—bringing together policy makers and local shareholders to discuss short- and long-term goals for America’s presence in the far north.Kuskokwim River May Meet Chinook Escapement GoalBen Matheson, KYUK – BethelUnprecedented closures kept fishermen this summer from targeting king salmon in an effort to bring more fish to spawning grounds after several poor runs. The drainage-wide results showing how well the management worked are now beginning arrive, and the state says the Kuskokwim may have achieved its critical Chinook escapement goal.In New Ad, Begich Embraces His Vote on ObamacareLiz Ruskin, APRN – Washington, D.C.For those who want to unseat U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, one strategy has prevailed from the start: Bind him to President Obama and the Affordable Care Act. A new ad from Republican challenger Dan Sullivan is typical of that approach.Southeast Ballot Issues Cover Taxes, Infrastructure and MoreEd Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – JuneauCommunities across Alaska are voting in municipal elections today. They are electing city council and assembly members and weighing in on local ballot measures.‘Blood Moon’ Forecast Strong in Alaska TonightTim Ellis, KUAC – FairbanksPeople here in Alaska and in much of this part of the Northern Hemisphere will get a chance tonight to see a total lunar eclipse, weather permitting.At UAA, New Trees Sprout Alongside New ConstructionAshley Snyder, APRN – AnchorageOver a dozen people gathered at the Alaska Airlines Center on Friday with shovels, wheelbarrows and small potted trees in tow. All were on a mission and none were afraid to get their hands dirty. Their goal? To plant 300 trees to take the place of some that were cut down during the many construction projects on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus.National Geographic Photographer Paul Nicklen Talks On Arctic EnvironmentsLori Townsend, APRN – AnchorageNational Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen has traveled to some of the most remote regions of the globe to document the effects of climate change. He has plunged into icy water and floated on sea ice to photograph sea mammals that rarely encounter humans. This week he travels to Anchorage to share stories of documenting the Arctic.