BENEFITS OF LIVING IN
THE CENTRAL VALLEY
Central Valley has been the fastest growing
region in California since 2001. Unlike the San Francisco Bay Area
which was affected by the recession in 2001 where large-scale job
loss occurred, the Central Valley continued to experience strong
employment growth. As of January 2006, the region had about 14%
more jobs than six years earlier.
During 2005, official employment data
showed that the regionís employment growth - which had been
consistently faster than that of the state since 2001 - was
approaching the statewide average. Payroll employment increased
1.8% statewide in 2005, faster than the national average of 1.5%.
The Valley saw its job growth (excluding the farm sector) accelerate
to 2.7% in 2005 from 1.8% in 2004.
Affordable Housing Attracts Population and Jobs
is one of the fastest-growing regions of the state, with cities such
as Bakersfield adding residents at nearly twice the state-wide
have fueled growth in the Valley, but the most obvious one is the
regionís housing boom. As the price of homes in the coastal regions
became increasingly expensive, the Valley offered more affordable
alternatives. Many families moved to the Valley so that they, too,
could become homeowners. The median home price is $438,500.
Between 2004 and
2005, most of the high population growth counties are inland,
including the entire Central Valley and the Inland Empire area in
Contribution of the
building industry to recent growth in the Central Valley is
unmistakable. The construction sector had by far the largest gain
over the year, up to 10,700 jobs since January 2005. On the
percentage basis, the sector also had the largest gain of 14.3%.
Those construction jobs are well-paying jobs and provide a
significant initial boost to the local economy.
Much of the Valley
is now moving towards the settling-in phase. As new residents
settle in, their presence immediately creates the need for certain
services, including police and fire protection, public education,
medical care, and food services, just to name a few. During this
phase, the local economic base becomes broader and additional
employment opportunities benefit both locals and newcomers.
Government, leisure and hospitality, retail trade, and health care
sectors add a large number of jobs. These new opportunities are a
welcome relief for a region that has long been dependent on the
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