Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Forecast calls for economic growth in Solano County in next 2 years

August 14, 2007

Forecast calls for economic growth

Employers confident jobs will be available

By Ines Bebea

FAIRFIELD - Despite the subprime mortgage crisis, Solano County executives and employers agree with a business expert's forecast that California's economy will experience a resurgence in the next two years.

"There are numerous sectors in our economy that are looking for qualified employees," said Nicole Carmichael, a senior account executive with Nelson Staffing, a temporary employment agency. "All sectors are growing, but in particular the biotech industry in Vacaville."

The forecast was issued by Chuck Williams, dean of Eberhardt School of Business at University of the Pacific in Stockton.

Williams pointed out that the subprime crisis will impede economic growth in the number of homes being built.

"The job market continues to experience a consistent growth," Williams said. "Albeit, consumer confidence could be affected by the housing crisis, where they will be concerned about spending money.

If consumers become concerned, whether they are buying or selling a home, they will be less likely to buy new things, spend money on upgrades and repairs."

Dave Bruss, chief operations officer for Hearn Construction in Vacaville, conceded that the company has already seen a drop in residential construction. But he added that commercial construction is on the rise.

"Commercial construction is up 35 to 39 percent in Northern California," Bruss said. "On the residential side, we have seen a 75 percent decrease. While prices are lower, people are afraid to take chances in the housing market."

In commercial construction, Bruss alluded to projects across the county that he says will offset the loss from the residential slump.

"Because of our commercial division, we will be able to hire an additional three to five employees," Bruss said. "The economy is better now than at this time last year."

Reach Ines Bebea at 427-6934 or ibebea@dailyrepublic.net.

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