Written by Carissa Abazia

On Friday, February 2nd, I attended the 2018 State of the County at the DoubleTree Hotel in Rohnert Park.  Nearly 500 attendees from public, private and nonprofit sectors attended the breakfast.

The presentation focused on how the County is recovering from the October 2017 wildfires, and plans for the future.

James Gore, chairman of Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, and Chris Coursey, Santa Rosa Mayor, highlighted key opportunities, challenges, and initiatives facing Sonoma County in the coming year.  Jerry Nickelsburg, UCLA Anderson Forecast’s Senior Economist, gave the keynote address. He provided a special analysis and forecast for the California economy, as well as the prospects for Sonoma County.

Sonoma County’s economy is projected to see stable growth this year even with the massive recovery in store from October’s fires, with a long-term outlook tied closely to how well the region rebounds, according to Nickelsburg.

I took extensive notes during the presentations.  Here are key takeaways as they relate to Sonoma County:

1. So far, 10 residential permits have been approved

2. The first house is in the process of being rebuilt in Coffey Park

3. We need to build 90,000 units in California to support our workforce; we need to build 8,000 homes in Santa Rosa

4. Lowest employment in 17 years

5. Highest employment growth in history (15%)

6. SF and Silicon Valley still growing but now 1/2 rate

7. We will see 3% growth in 2018 as a result of record low unemployment levels, recent wage gains and rising housing costs; in 2019, we will see a slight decline to 2% growth rate

8. In 2017, all the new jobs in the U.S. happened in California

9. Interest rates continue to rise; historically, rates are still very low

10. Change in: 1) labor force; 2) technology; and 3) new capital stock will create change in GDP

My next post “Mortgage Rates: the Ultimate Conundrum” will be live soon.


Thanks for reading!

Carissa Abazia