Kern Economic Journal

The Kern Economic Journal is a quarterly publication (February, May, August, and November). Its purpose is to track and analyze economic trends that affect the well-being of Kern County. In doing so, the journal provides primary data on consumer confidence and business outlook as well as secondary data on a wide range of economic indicators. These data help the community make more informed decisions. Sources of funding for the journal include university contributions and sponsorship fees.

Economy at a Glance

The world’s largest economy of more than $16.5 trillion, the United States, grew by 0.7 percent, but at a much slower rate than the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate from the third quarter of 2015, where real GDP grew by a modest 2.0 percent. Real GDP increased largely because of increases in consumer spending, largely from purchases of durable goods (mostly vehicles and recreational goods), non-durable goods, and large increases in spending on healthcare, as the effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) continue to unfold. However, the growth rate was moderated by decreases in private inventory investment, as firms in wholesale trade and manufacturing continued to let inventories drop, perhaps as a hint to the state of the global and national economy, as well as decreases in exports.

Tracking Kern's Economy

With further declines of oil prices and layoffs continuing to affect regional oil companies (along with proposed decreases in oil employment for 2016), there was a sizable decrease in personal income, increasing by 15.32%, on an annual basis, compared to the third quarter of 2015. This amounted to a decrease, in total income, of over $1.25 billion. This decrease was largely driven by sizable decreases in firm profit income (falling by $750 million) and property income (falling by nearly $150 million) during the fourth quarter of 2015. This means that the long-term oil price affects are starting to impact a variety of sectors in Kern County.


The Hospital Council of Northern and Central California has commissioned an economic and fiscal impact analysis of hospitals operating in Kern County. In doing so, we collected and analyzed financial data from the State of California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) depository for the most recent year, 2013.  The IMPLAN software uploaded with Kern County Input-Output Multipliers is utilized to measure economic and fiscal impacts of hospital spending and construction outlays on the economy of Kern County.

Featured Article: Oil Prices: Why? So? Then What?

In this article, the effect of oil prices on various economies is outlined. In June 2014, the spot price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was $105.79; by December 2015, the price was $37.21 (Figure 1). (U.S. Energy Information Administration 2016). This 70 percent drop in oil prices over 18 months has implications for regional and global economies. Oil importing countries, such as U.S., Japan, China, and India, are set to gain; exporting countries, like Saudi Arabia, Russia, Canada and United Arab Emirates, are set to lose (Brown and Yücel 2013, CIA 2016, U.S. Energy Information Administration 2016).

Publishers and Managing Editors

Thank you to Dr. Abbas Grammy, Founder of KEJ, for the contributions he has made to CSUB and the Kern County Community through KEJ. For more information on Dr. Grammy, please visit the link below.

KEJ Founder


Richard Gearhart

BDC 257A

Nyakundi Michieka

BDC 259A

California State University, Bakersfield
9001 Stockdale Hwy
Bakersfield, Ca 93311