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January 23, 2003

Forecast: State budget woes hamper local economy

Full Report

December marked the seventh straight month of negative job growth for the Capital Region, with state budget troubles and possible tax increases dimming prospects for a quick turnaround, according to the quarterly CSUS Forecast released today by the California Institute for County Government at California State University, Sacramento.

The report also said the local economy is hurting from uncertainty about the national economy and the possibility of military action in the Middle East.

Forecasters expect negative job growth to continue through the summer, with positive job growth returning late in the year.

The Capital Region's employment growth was -0.45 percent in December. By comparison, the state recorded -0.14 job growth and the nation -0.09.

Although government employers in the region continued to show positive job growth, the rate slowed to 1.1 percent. Forecasters expect the government sector rate to be negative soon because of state budget cuts.

The outlook in the manufacturing and construction sectors is a bit more positive. Manufacturing is still negative but continuing to improve. And construction, which had negative job growth in mid-2002, showed positive job growth again.

The quarterly CSUS Forecast of the region's job outlook uses an econometric model of the six-county Capital Region with more than two dozen variables. It was developed by the California Institute for County Government with support from the CSUS Regional Development Initiative. CSUS economics professor Suzanne O'Keefe and Robert Fountain, special assistant for regional development at CSUS, served as project advisors. Shawn Blosser of Databasix provided assistance with model development and programming.

More information is available by contacting Matthew Newman, director of the California Institute for County Government, at (916) 324-0796 or by visiting the institute's website at www.cicg.org. Additional media assistance is available by contacting CSUS public affairs at (916) 278-6156.



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