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Business and Industry | Major Industries

The Southern California economic region experienced rapid growth up to the recent economic recession. From 2001-2006, major industries with strong growth included Construction (28%), Other Services (except Public Administration) (24%), Accomodation and Food Services (15%), Health Care and Social Assistance (13%), Retail Trade (12%), Administrative & Waste Services (11%), and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services (9%). Other industries with strong growth were Finance & Insurance (19%), Educational Services (17%), Real Estate & Rental & Leasing (14%), and Utilities (10%).

Starting in 2008, the housing downturn and general economic recession have created job losses and reversed growth trends in a number of industries. The most affected industries include Construction, which declined 24% in May 2008-2009 (go to Housing), manufacturing (-17%), and retail trade (-3% and -15%). The impact on housing and construction may be made worse by increasing foreclosures and other problems in the commercial real estate market. Vacancy rates on commercial property are at 8% overall, with 12% vacancy for warehouses and 20% for office space.

Manufacturing, trade and transportation have suffered from the decrease in international trade volumes through local ports. World trade volume is projected to be -10 to -12% less in 2009 compared to 2008. The Inland Empire serves as a logistics hub for about 80% of the goods going through Long Beach and Los Angeles Ports and has been affected by this decline in trade. However, world trade is expected to recover starting in 2010 and reach growth rates of +5% to +6% by 2012-2013. Infrastructure projects funded through the federal stimulus package also may help compensate for some job losses in construction and transportation.

The tables on the right report business and industry measures for Riverside and San Bernardino Counties (as of 2007), based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) provided through the California Economic Development Department. While firms in the two counties are similar in terms of overall number, size and employment, they differ in which industries are experiencing the most rapid growth and competitive advantage.

Large businesses (over 100 employees)
Predominant industry, based on number of establishments in each industry
Business and employment
Top 5 industries - fastest growing from 2001-2007
Competitive edge in 2007, as measured by location quotient
Inland Empire Business Atlas, ©University of Redlands, 2009. Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or the University of Redlands. Site created and maintained by the Redlands Institute.