Everybody's talking about Bakersfield - in a good way

bakersfield.jpgIt's leading the Central Valley recovery, both because of stepped-up oil production in Kern County and the large number of warehouses and industrial parks in the area. Construction jobs rose 5 percent in October compared with a year earlier - one of the strongest growth rates in the nation - and it's regained all but 3,000 jobs that had been lost between 2007 and 2010. From the WSJ:

"It's not any one thing, but a lot of things adding up," said John Emery, dean of the school of business and public administration at California State University, Bakersfield. "It's a great time to be here." Economists warn that Bakersfield, like California, isn't out of the woods. Kern County's October unemployment rate of 12.2%, while down from 13.5% a year earlier, exceeded both the state and U.S. rate. And despite a rebound in housing starts here and statewide this year, the markets remain well below prerecession levels. Median prices for an existing single-family home plunged 61% in Kern County and 57% for the state as a whole between 2006 and 2009, and they have rebounded to 48% below 2006 levels, according to the California Association of Realtors. Restoring construction is important, economists say, because it generates many other jobs.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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