At a Beaumont Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event, Economist John Husing talked about population growth, along with job forecasts and careers of the future during his annual Pass Area Region Economic presentation last Friday at Morongo Tukwet Canyon.
One of the more important statistics that Husing catapulted at the crowd is the growing population of the Pass area: the total current population for the Inland Empire is 4.63 million, with the San Gorgonio Pass making up close to 143,000 residents in the cities of Banning, Beaumont, Yucaipa and Calimesa.
Yucaipa is the leader at 54,800, followed by 48,000 in Beaumont, 31,000 in Banning and 9,159 in Calimesa.
The population will continue to grow at a rapid speed pace, with 1.5 million more people set to move into the region in the future because of the rising living costs in coastal cities.
Husing said that many of the issues facing residents and cities today is the lack of state government to resolve issues of the residents.
Husing began studying the economy and the Inland Empire as a student at San Bernardino Valley College in 1964.
He mentioned that when he began attending chamber of commerce meetings then, it was all men in attendance, unlike the Beaumont chamber meetings now.
Education was another topic he addressed, saying that on average in the Inland Empire 30.2 percent of the population has an associate’s degree, with Beaumont at 35 percent, 33 percent for Yucaipa, 30 percent Calimesa and 23 percent in Banning.
Husing expressed how an associate’s degree is an important tool in today’s job market, with many people going into the trade industry, like construction and welding due to the increases in development in the area.
“Many of the jobs in the Inland Empire require technical training,” he said.
During the recession in 2007, 140,000 jobs were lost but then, 390,000 jobs were brought back in the Inland Empire because of the migration from the coastal areas, Husing said.
That is 19.7 percent higher than 12 years ago for the region and 12 percent in California.
“We have been a job engine,” Husing said.
Another 38,000 jobs will be added in the region, he said.
The San Gorgonio Pass Area and the Inland Empire have been a hot spot for job growth, Husing said.
He added that even the San Francisco Peninsula and San Mateo area are behind the Inland Empire in this regard.
One reason for this is housing costs are lower in the Inland Empire than in the coastal areas, and poverty levels have gone down with the increase in jobs, Husing said.
Husing talked about the cycle of jobs and how they influence the economy, dating back to the 18th century.
“In mining towns, there was a general store and the miners needed food and tools so they used their paychecks to pay for the goods. For entertainment, there was a saloon,” he said.
Fast forward to today and Husing forecasts on his website the top paying jobs from 2011-2018, per the California Employment Development Department.
They are: distribution and transportation, $83,967; construction, $45,142; eating and drinking, $38,942; health care, $37,858.
The top jobs are logistics and distribution, construction, health care, manufacturing and high tech.
As for retail, restaurants and hotels, the top companies are Nordstrom and In-N-Out.
The average salary for retail is $34,023.
California’s job gains for 2017-18 showed that the Inland Empire was at 49,308, which was behind Los Angeles at 60,908.
According to Husing’s website, the forecasted population growth from 2018 to 2045 is 6,119, 497 for Southern California, with the Inland Empire at 1,528, 604.
Another interesting fact was the announcement of 15 jobs that did not exist 15 years ago.
Some of those jobs include social media manager, podcast producer and telemedicine physician.
Staff writer Julie Farren may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org