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Beacon Economics forecasts little growth for L.A.

May 5, 2010 | 11:35 am

La The economy may be turning around, but dark clouds loom beyond 2010. That was the message from Wednesday morning’s forecast from Beacon Economics.

“The trends are good, the fundamentals are bad,” said Beacon founding principal Christopher Thornberg in front of hundreds of business leaders at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott.

Part of the problem, Thornberg said, is that tax breaks and stimulus packages may have jump-started the economy now, but down the road they’ll lead to debt problems that could be greater than those being experienced in Greece right now.

“The nation seems to be trading in its private bubble for a public one, swapping one set of unsustainable economic drivers for another,” Thornberg wrote in a forecast released Wednesday morning.

In Los Angeles, the story is much the same. Though job losses have stopped, L.A. County’s unemployment rate will remain in double digits through 2013, said Brad Kemp, director of regional research at Beacon Economics.

As manufacturing jobs disappear, educational gaps will prevent the unemployed from filling the jobs in professional and business services that will be created, he said. That means employment will only grow slowly in 2011 and 2012.

"The short-term challenge for our local leaders, public and private, is to assist the large number of unemployed people in transitioning into the new economy where workers need advanced skills to compete," Kemp wrote.

-- Alana Semuels

Photo by bredgur via Flickr