California’s economic recovery will take more than 2 years: UCLA forecast

California
A worker stands on the roof of a new home under construction on September 24, 2020 in South San Francisco. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A worker stands on the roof of a new home under construction on September 24, 2020 in South San Francisco. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

California’s economy began to bounce back this summer thanks to an infusion of federal jobless benefits and business loans along with the reopening of some workplaces, but a full recovery from the coronavirus downturn will take more than two years, UCLA economists predict.

The UCLA Anderson quarterly forecast released Wednesday suggested California payrolls will drop 7.2% this year to 16 million jobs, a loss of some 1.5 million since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. They are expected to climb back slowly, by just 1.3% next year and 3.5% in 2022.

The Golden State’s unemployment rate, which was 3.9% in February, will average 10.8% this year, then fall to 8.6% next year and 6.6% in 2022, the forecast calculated.

Nonetheless, “the news is not all bad,” economist Leila Bengali wrote in the report, noting that some industries are faring far better than others. A precipitous drop in travelers has hammered California’s leisure and hospitality sector, where payrolls are projected to fall 25% this year, but “the housing market is an area where we project particular strength and a quick recovery to pre-recession levels.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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