Business & Real Estate

Forecast sees modest job growth in Sacramento in 2016

Nate Lehrer, a senior installer with SolarCity, carries a solar panel to a job in West Sacramento in April.
Nate Lehrer, a senior installer with SolarCity, carries a solar panel to a job in West Sacramento in April. hamezcua@sacbee.com

Sacramento’s economy will continue growing this year but will continue to suffer from a shortage of high-paying jobs, according to a closely watched forecast released Tuesday.

The 15th annual Sacramento Business Review said it expects “moderate job growth” in 2016 but lamented the age-old problem facing the region’s economy – its inability to generate lots of high-wage jobs.

The review, co-authored by the Sacramento State College of Business Administration and the Chartered Financial Analyst Society of Sacramento, noted the metropolitan area has finally recaptured the jobs lost during the recession. An estimated 936,900 people in the region held jobs in November, surpassing the previous peak of 933,700 jobs in July 2007, according to the state Employment Development Department.

“The bad news is that the job recovery has occurred in sectors that are traditionally filled by unskilled and lower-wage labor,” the report said. The bulk of the new jobs created in the past year have been in the retail and leisure sectors, the report said. Meanwhile, the manufacturing sector actually lost jobs over the past year.

Sacramento’s “dearth of large employers” is a contributor to the problem, the report said. “While our small-business sector is a critical and powerful force in our regional economy, it is still important that we bolster and diversify the employer base in the area.”

Dale Kasler: 916-321-1066, @dakasler

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