Friday, April 1, 2016

Economist says Solano’s future looks bright

By Kimberly K. Fu,, @ReporterKimFu on Twitter
Posted: |                                       
Newsflash — It’s a good year for Solano County.

So said economist Robert Eyler, a principal with Economic Forensics and Analytics, at Thursday’s Solano Economic Development Corporation gathering in Fairfield.

The event focused on the Solano County 2015 Index of Economic & Community Progress.

According to Eyler, last year was one of the county’s best years in a long time.

Jobs, income and housing prices are up as are tax revenues, he said.

“Solano County has gone from emergence to expansion,” he advised. “Almost every single industry in Solano County is seeing job growth.”

Last year, the county boasted 4,300 more non-farm jobs while farm job numbers also climbed.

“That’s the most job growth we’ve seen since the recession,” he said.

As for housing, property values rose during 2015 and standard of living indicators reportedly also improved.

Though commuting patterns are a challenge, the economist said, they’re not necessarily bad. Figures show that locals love living in Solano even though many work outside the county, and the income they make is brought back to and spent in Solano, he added.

As for education, the numbers tell a fantastic story.

“There’s an increase in graduation rates. That’s better than California’s average,” Eyler pointed out.

“Dropout rates are low. ... That’s the first time that we’ve seen Solano County definitely better than
California in dropout rates.”

As the county continues its rise from a years-long recession, Eyler predicted continued growth, albeit slow.

His futurecast includes focusing on external markets, realizing that interest rates and the like depends heavily on what’s going on in foreign countries and acknowledging that the national election and business uncertainty will impact the county.

“Connect all the dots,” he concluded. “Recognize we’re always in a regional market.”