“Trends are in place for a better Orange County economy this year and for a much better economy for 2015,” according to a mid-year report by Chapman University economist Dr. Esmael Adibi. Dr. Adibi forecasts 37,000 new jobs being added to the Orange County workforce this year and 43,000 new jobs during 2015. While total Orange County employment will still be 50,000 jobs under the peak set in 2006 before the economic recession, unemployment is currently at five percent, far better than California or the nation as a whole.
Moreover, the new jobs being added are not in one or two industries but rather are broad based, said Dr. Adibi, and include construction, education, health services, leisure and hospitality.
Regarding the residential outlook for Orange County, Dr. Adibi anticipates some cooling of the red hot housing appreciation, citing a forecast appreciation of five percent per year for the years 2014 and 2015. The economist sees home prices going out of reach of lower-level and first-time homebuyers.