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Inland Empire economic growth outpaces state but challenges remain

 
FILE PHOTO
QVC’s warehouse facility in Ontario is expected to bring in 500 jobs by 2018 and 500 more by 2020.FILE PHOTO QVC’s warehouse facility in Ontario is expected to bring in 500 jobs by 2018 and 500 more by 2020. 
 

 

A new economic report about the Inland Empire shows steady gains in logistics, health care and construction sectors as well as a strong job market and economy, but challenges remain with overcoming poverty and low education levels.

The momentum is expected to continue in 2017, said John Husing, chief economist for the Inland Empire Economic Partnership and author of the report.

In all, the Inland Empire has created nearly 240,000 jobs since the low point of the Great Recession.

“We are nearly 100,000 jobs higher than we were than before the Great Recession,” Husing said in a phone interview. “What has happened is better than what’s been going on in the state because we have significant job growth in sectors paying $45,000 to $60,000 a year. We’re in much better shape in that respect.”

 

 

Husing’s report was presented Thursday, at the Seventh Annual Southern California Economic Summitin Los Angeles. The summit included discussions on improving the economic viability of local communities and attracting new businesses and industry clusters. More than 400 business and elected leaders attended the event.

“We still have a high number of people that are living in poverty, and we need to lift those up,” said Hasan Ikhrata, executive director of Southern California Association of Governments, one of the event sponsors. “We need to create high paying jobs and continue to do that as we move forward. We have done well. We’re moving in the right direction.”

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