Economic growth in Los Angeles County will slow through the rest of 2007 and into 2008, but the county will still perform better than surrounding counties that have been harder hit by the housing slowdown, according to a forecast from California State University Long Beach.


The annual forecast projects job growth in L.A. County to slow to 1.3 percent in 2007 and even further to 1.2 percent in 2008 from the comparatively robust level of 1.7 percent in 2006. That 2006 growth was largely driven by the stabilization of a long-term decline in the manufacturing sector.


Housing and retail especially home improvement stores and other housing-related retailers are expected to slow, but only slightly. "Los Angeles County did not experience a housing boom to the same extent at the other counties in the region since the county is built out. As a result, the downturn will not affect the county as much as other parts of the region," the forecast states.


Also other sectors are expected to remain strong and offset the housing sector slump. Among these is the health and private education sector, which is expected to add jobs at a 3.5 percent clip in 2007, up from 2.1 percent last year. Growth in the professional and business services sector is also expected to remain strong at 2.1 percent in 2007.


The forecast also looks at the economy of Long Beach and predicts continued job growth. The primary job-creating machine for Long Beach is the city's port.

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