10 business trends every Southern Californian should be thankful for – Daily News

on Nov28
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It’s the season to give thanks … for family and friends … and economic opportunities.

It’s been another strong year for the region’s business climate. And in the spirit of Thanksgiving, let’s ponder my list of 10 economic trends for which we should be thankful.

10. Entertainment riches: Local theme parks up their games. A slew of new rides doesn’t just add sizzle to the region’s already hot and competitive tourism business. These are job generators: from the construction crews that build them to the theme park workers who’ll operate the new attractions.

9. Start-up cash: State companies dominate venture capital funding. This is California’s secret sauce. For all the chatter about businesses leaving the state, no place on Earth creates more new enterprises.

8. Unions grow: SoCal membership is up 7% this decade. Don’t overlook organized labor’s ability to get workers higher pay and better benefits. This will be a trend to watch in the coming years.

7. Better credit #2: The state’s credit rating gets two upgrades. For all the talk about state government’s financial challenges, two Wall Street credit agencies officially pushed up California’s credit scores.

6. Better credit #1: The region’s poor-credit population is on the decline. It’s amazing what more jobs at higher incomes can do for credit histories. And folks with better credit scores get better access to borrowing, both in terms of larger loans and lower rates.

5. More owners: California homeownership is at a 9-year high. Very quietly, homebuying has picked up in the state, but it’s still trailing the national level of homeownership.

4. Housing cures: Two-dozen new laws address a statewide shortage of homes. There are plenty of ideas, no less new laws, targeting lower housing costs for California. Now the big challenge: turning theory into reality.

3. Less poverty: California leads the nation in cuts to its poverty count. The state can certainly do better to make it more affordable for the less fortunate. Still, an impressive improvement should not be overlooked.

2. Higher pay: Local wages have taken their biggest jump in 12 years. It’s a clear sign of a labor shortage when bosses are struggling to hire and retain new workers. That translates to workers getting rewarded with higher salaries.

And No. 1 … More jobs! SoCal bosses continue to hire, adding 112,000 jobs in a year. Nothing is more important to the local economy than having a steady stream of new jobs. And don’t be surprised if this year’s employment growth is eventually found to be higher.

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