The State of Orange County: An Economic Overview and Forecast
Lucy Dunn, president and CEO of the Orange County Business Council, was our January dinner meeting speaker. She was informative and inspiring as she spoke about Orange County improvements, regressions and consistent trends to help us understand how our community is developing. She exhibited a natural connection with us, and delighted the audience with her presentation of facts and insights into the current OC economy. Her presentation addressed the OC economy, OC Business Council current activities, and insights on leadership.
Here’s a few things she said about the OC Economy:
- We boast a pro-business, highly skilled labor force, and a well-developed infrastructure. All of which create a highly desirable business climate for you, business leaders.
- We have a lower unemployment rate here in Orange County than the state and Nation – 8.1% here, compared to California at over 11%, and the Nation at 8.6%. Even at 8.1% we are used to being pro-business, pro-jobs and used to 3% unemployment however, we have a lot of work to do.
- High-tech industry clusters are important to us in the county as they produce those well-paying jobs for the high-cost county in which we live. OC has the second highest number of high-tech clusters in the nation after Boston – that’s right – before San Diego, before Austin, before the Silicon Valley.
- A common misconception is that people commute from OC to LA County for work. The reality is quite the opposite; more people now commute from LA to OC to work than the other way around. That makes LA our bedroom community.
- Our violent crime rates are significantly down, including Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Santa Ana and Irvine, which held on to its title as America’s safest city for the seventh consecutive year. We are consistently ranked highest in the nation for safety. Businesses value the safe community in which we live.
You are in a very unique place. “Nothing rhymes with Orange!” We are well positioned for economic recovery. OC Community is the place to be, and it’s the best time to be in Orange County.
Lucy challenged business leaders—you!—to get appointed to any local government commission, board, panel, task force, that interests you to start to add a business perspective back into government that only comes from your own personal skill set unique to running a business!
The following are actionable questions to build a stronger OC Economy:
- How can I influence economic long-term positive change?
- What economic indicator is most important to my business success?
- What appointed advisory role interests me to share my business perspective?
The facts presented came from the OC Community Indicators report, which can be found at www.OCBC.org under Research, and the statistics can be found at www.OCEconomy.org generated yearly by the OC Business Council.
Presentation recap written by Linda Schotborgh with 3D Pearl Photography.