A new economic forecast predicts the Stockton area will see some of Northern California's biggest job growth this year.
Jeff Michael heads the Center for Business and Policy Research at the University of the Pacific. He says San Joaquin County saw some of the highest population growth in the last couple of years. As a result he predicts more employment in the region.
"People buy things and that creates jobs," explains Michael. "Part of the reason we're seeing population growth pick up in that area is that we've seen migration pick up primarily from the Bay Area."
Michael says that includes Silicon Valley which is seeing a slow-down from the incredible growth rates of recent years.
The report predicts the Stockton area will see non-farm employment go up by 4 percent this year; for Sacramento it's about 2.5 percent.
And California's unemployment rate is projected to stabilize around 5 percent over the next few years.
Michael predicts a lot more new housing construction in California too.
"We expect to see a significant increase in 2016."
He says there were nearly 50,000 single-family housing starts in California last year. Michael projects that'll go up to 66,000 this year and 85,000 in 2017.
"A big part of that is what we'll see in inland areas," says Michael. "So we expect new housing construction to double over the next two or three years in San Joaquin County and the Sacramento area."
Michael says that's because more people are moving inland from the Bay Area. The forecast predicts about 40,000 new construction jobs in each of the next three years.
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