Episode Sponsor: American Marketing Association – Inland Empire
I've been searching for someone who could talk with me about economics in the Inland Empire. I finally found him. Jack Katzanek is the Senior Director of Communications and Constituent Services at the Inland Empire Economic Partnership (IEEP). Jack comes from a background in journalism. He was a reporter and editor at the Press-Enterprise in Riverside and at the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Ontario.
The recession seemed to hit the Inland Empire particularly hard since much our region's economy was built (literally) on the construction industry. Jack explains that during the boom years of 2002-2007, a lot of people were moving into San Bernardino and Riverside counties looking for lower home prices. The increase in population led to increased infrastructure needs, which led to more Inland Empire jobs. But when the bottom fell out of the housing market, the construction jobs ground to a halt. We've been digging our way out ever since.
If you're looking for more economic data on the Inland Empire, check out the IEEP website and John Husing's website. John Husing is an economist who has made a career out of analyzing and reporting on the Inland Empire economy. He publishes a quarterly report that's worth reading.