UCLA predicts state's economy will have slow growth

September 20, 2011 7:48:53 PM PDT
There is a new forecast for the California economy. The UCLA Anderson School of Business is predicting California will remain in a period of slow growth, through the end of next year and double-digit unemployment for two more years after that.

The UCLA forecast also says a double-dip recession for California is unlikely. And you can see some cautious hiring at the Job Journal and ABC7's sponsored HIREvent job fair on Tuesday, but it doesn't mean that applicants are finding the jobs that they really wanted.

Recruiters had 300 jobs to fill, most were highly technical or in entry-level sales. That disappointed people seeking customer service jobs or other kinds of work. Insurance company Aflac is expanding in the Bay Area. Its goal was to add a dozen or more people to its commission-based sales team.

"We need more district offices, more regional offices, so we need to bring in more people, train them and then be able to take them through that management training experience," said Janice Ruiz, an Aflac recruiter.

Commission-based jobs don't provide benefits or a steady pay check, but that doesn't dampen enthusiasm when applicants received on-the-spot interview appointments.

"I have a job interview set up with the Yellow Pages, the Valleyview Yellow Pages at 10:45 in San Mateo tomorrow. I'm very excited," said Barbara Manning, a job applicant.

The Bay Area continues to outpace job growth statewide. Over the past three months, nearly 25,000 were added, compared to 17,000 in other parts of California. Despite that trend, recent Cal Poly engineering graduate, Evan Lim, is considering the Navy. He says competition for jobs is too stiff in the private sector.

"You're not only competing with people who just recently graduated like myself, but also people who graduated maybe years before," said Lim.

Many applicants told ABC7 they've been unemployed as long as three years. While they haven't given up, they are willing to take almost any job. However, employers are reluctant to consider them, especially if over-qualified because they may not like or stay long in a lower-level or entry-level position.

Karen Maxwell, a new mom from Daly City, is anxious for a job. She said she had not been on any interviews recently, but she is hoping to get some interviews in the near future. She said, "I've been on the Internet and everything and I had one for Kirby Vacuum Cleaners, but it didn't work out."

UCLA economists say there are two things to watch for that could impact the job market, as well as the possibility of a second recession -- a drop in exports and a drop in consumer spending.

Next Free HIREvents Job Fair:
October 3, 2011, 12 p.m. -- 4 p.m.
Hilton Garden Inn Emeryville
1800 Powell Street
Emeryville, CA 94608
More information on the Job Fair


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