Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Economic Index highlight of Solano EDC breakfast

Economic Index highlight of Solano EDC breakfast

By Melissa Murphy, The Reporter, Vacaville
Solano County has made some “profound progress” and the business community wants to see that momentum continue.

Friday was filled with good economic news for the county during the monthly breakfast of the Solano Economic Development Corporation.

Congressman John Garamendi, D-Solano, stopped by and commended the business community for enduring the recession and coming out back on top.

“Growth and jobs in our community is absolutely essential,” he said and added that it was great to see the competing business community working together for the good of the county.

Economic Forensics and Analytics Principal Robert Eyler, the morning’s guest speaker, said he had “decent news” to share and that Solano County has gone from recovery mode to expansion mode.

The full 2014 Solano County Index of Economic Community Progress is available online at www.solanocounty.com/economicindex.

Eyler explained that the recovery momentum slowed in 2014, but that is a sign that continued expansion will linger.

A highlight that excited those attending the breakfast is there is a rise in graduation rates in Solano, more than the state of California. Additionally, more students are ready for University of California and California State University than any school year since 2007-08.

Eyler noted that when the economy improves, children stay in school longer because they’re not needed to earn an income for the family.
He also added that the county needs to stay business friendly since the Bay Area is the most important region in the world for now, a plus for Solano County.

The county also needs to be aware of, according to Eyler, the aging population.

“Don’t forget about our seniors,” he said.

In 2014, Solano expanded with 2,300 new jobs, a growth of 1.8 percent and the county’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate is at 6.9 percent as it begins 2015.

Additionally, the Index shows that “with a growing economy and reduced government resources, the private sector is becoming more of an engine for growth” in the county.
All standards of living measures are rising in the 2013 data and suggest that 2014 and 2015 also will be years of rising living standards for the county.

While base employment fell a bit in 2014, locally serving jobs grew, a “sign of economic expansion,” according to the Index.

The Index also pointed out that the county is “becoming more diversified in its number of employers/economic base with the private sector leading the way.”