Aug. 12, 2010 - Local consumers are less pessimistic and local businesses are more optimistic about employment and financial conditions, according to the latest issue of Kern Economic Journal. Meanwhile, over the past three months, Kern County's economy has expanded, and the labor and housing markets have improved.
The Kern Economic Journal is a quarterly publication by California State University, Bakersfield, which tracks and analyzes local economic trends. It uses results from telephone surveys of local consumers and business managers as well as statistics from government agencies such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
"Our research shows Kern County's economy is rebounding from its recession," said Abbas Grammy, professor of economics at CSUB and the editor of the journal "The evidence is consistent: improved consumer confidence, brighter business outlook, modest growth, increased employment, lower unemployment, and rising housing prices and sales. We expect moderate improvements to continue in the second half of the year toward a full recovery next year."
Key findings in the report include:
- Results of the CSUB survey indicate that local households became less pessimistic about employment and financial conditions of their families and relatives as the Bakersfield Consumer Sentiment Index gained 12 points to reach 78.
- Survey results also show that local businesses became more confident about their employment and financial conditions as the Kern County Business Outlook Index gained 4 points to reach 110.
- Kern County's economy expanded at an annualized rate of 3.9 percent. It created $15.39 billion in total personal income, $151 million more than the previous quarter.
- Kern County's labor market improved. The rate of unemployment of Kern County dropped from 17.4 to 15.5 percent. Still below the county average, the rate of unemployment averaged 11.3 percent in Bakersfield, 12.7 percent in California City, 9.3 percent in Ridgecrest, and 10.2 percent in Tehachapi.
- Kern County's housing market improved. The median sales price for all residential units appreciated $6,100 (4.7 percent) from $130,500 to $136,600. In Bakersfield, the median housing price appreciated $4,200 (3.1 percent) from $136,800 to $141,000.
- Sales of housing units increased from 2,512 to 3,260 in Kern County and from 1,809 to 2,351 in Bakersfield. The county's foreclosure activity slowed from 2,331 to 2,008. However, of these homeowners receiving default notices, 1,802 (90 percent) lost their homes to foreclosure.
The report also contains features on business executives, education and international trade. The entire journal, along with shorter weekly reports, can be found online at www.csub.edu/kej. For more information, please contact Abbas Grammy, CSUB economics professor, at 661-654-2466.
For more information:
Media ContactColleen Dillaway, Director of Public Affairs & Communications