California’s workforce of 19 million is spread across distinct metro regions, from tech-heavy Silicon Valley to the agricultural powerhouses of Fresno and Bakersfield, to the movie studios of Los Angeles.
Less talked about are the nearly two million who work in the state’s Inland Empire. It’s home to more than 4.5 million people in sprawling San Bernardino and Riverside counties east of Los Angeles.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democratic candidate for governor, recently claimed this region of high desert and valley communities is among the leaders in California job growth.
The Inland Empire is "the second fastest growing region" in California, Newsom said in an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on July 12, 2017. "It’s about logistics, warehousing, transportation."
Newsom makes his claim at about the 2:00 minute mark above.
We took Newsom’s statement to mean the Inland Empire has the state’s second fastest job growth rate because the lieutenant governor went on to talk about statewide job growth immediately after making this claim.
Newsom’s comments follow Gov. Jerry Brown’s recent claim on NBC’s Meet the Press that California’s Central Valley and Inland Empire "are experiencing tremendous job growth." We examined that claim and rated it Mostly True.
Still, we wondered whether Newsom was right.
We set out on a fact check.
Asked for evidence to support the claim, Newsom’s spokesman cited research from John Husing, chief economist with the Inland Empire Economic Partnership. The industry group advocates for jobs creation in the region.
The spokesman specifically pointed to a section of Husing’s April 2017 report that found the Inland Empire’s "3.47% growth rate in 2016 was second to San Francisco (4.16%)."
The report went on to say the region added the second most total jobs of any in the state, 47,500, behind Los Angeles’ 109,000 and ahead of San Francisco’s 43,800.
These figures back up Newsom’s claim.
His statement also holds when looking at job growth rates over the past five years. In April 2017, Jeffrey Michael, director of the Center for Business and Policy Research at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, compiled data showing job growth rates by metro area. The Inland Empire had the fastest job growth rate over the past year at that time, 3.2 percent, and the second fastest rate, 22.3 percent, over the past five years.
The economists analyzed data from the California Employment Development Department.
Types of jobs
Newsom’s claim about the rapid pace of job growth appears on the money. But what about the type of jobs he described: "logistics, warehousing, transportation" ?
Husing told us this description was also on the right track. With the explosion of e-commerce, developers have seized on the Inland Empire’s vast and affordable stretches of land to build warehouses for products shipped through ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach.
More than 60,600 distribution and transportation jobs have been added in the Inland Empire since its rebound from the Great Recession in 2010, Husing said. In addition, nearly 46,000 construction jobs; about 25,000 healthcare jobs and 15,000 manufacturing positions have been created.
Logistics, transportation and construction "are overwhelmingly the sectors that are driving the growth," the economist said.
Husing described most of these positions as "blue collar jobs." In April, Husing described in more depth the Inland Empire’s wage picture. He said it had a lower share of high-paying administrative jobs compared with the state as a whole. But, he said, the region was outperforming the state in its share of middle-class jobs that pay between $45,000 and $60,000.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom recently claimed the Inland Empire is "the second fastest growing region" in California.
We took Newsom’s claim to mean it has the second fastest job growth rate.
Data compiled by two leading economists back up Newsom’s assertion. It shows the Inland Empire’s nearly 3.5 percent jobs growth rate in 2016 was second only to San Francisco’s 4.16 percent. Figures over the past five years show the Inland Empire grew jobs at 22.3 percent, again second only to the San Francisco market.
The lieutenant governor was also correct to describe these Inland Empire jobs as based in the transportation and distribution sectors, based on data from the economists.
We rate Newsom’s claim True.
TRUE – The statement is accurate and there’s nothing significant missing.
Click here for more on the six PolitiFact ratings and how we select facts to check.