Last Friday one of my colleagues and I attended a very interesting breakfast on the UC Irvine campus. The event was an update on some important indicators (economic, social, etc.) about Orange County. The speaker was Michael Ruane, the man responsible for getting this report done every year. Here is the link to the report and what follows is a couple of screen captures from the report with a little bit of analysis.
Best Places to Do Business
It is evident, from these charts at least, that Orange County is becoming a less business friendly location. Education is not the problem, we still rank in the top 30 of all counties. But job growth and our rank for the cost of doing business is fairly low and hurts our overall ranking. In 2005, we were in the top 30 overall for best places to do business but that ranking has only gotten worse each year since.
Employment by Industry
This chart shows where the jobs are in Orange County. Tourism, health, biomedical, computer software and defense have all grown over the period shown.
One of the bright sides of the recession is that home prices have fallen enough to allow more people the ability to buy their own home.
High Tech Diversification
This chart is important because it shows that our high tech economy, which spurs a lot of the growth in the county, is very diverse. For example, if one of the sub-sectors suffers a hit we have a number of other sub-sectors in our local economy that can pick up the slack.
There is a lot of other great information in this study and it is well worth your time to read it.
The Mihaylo College of Business and Economics puts out economic forecasts a couple of times a year and it is almost that time for another one to be presented. On Tuesday, April 20 the next iteration of this forecast will be presented by Dr. Anil Puri (Dean of the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics) and Dr. Mira Farka.
So, what should you expect from this forecast? Frankly, just about everything you could think of. Just take a look at the last Economic Forecast they published.
Real estate, credit, unemployment and GDP forecasts will all be covered with a special focus on Orange County and Southern California. Both of these researchers are highly respected within their fields and it is highly unlikely their presentation will disappoint.
While the editor’s of this site are busy creating our own study on Orange County the Harvard Business Association of Orange County is unveiling its annual report card for Orange County Thursday, March 15. Here’s a preview:
The Report shows how our county is changing and how it compares with other local regions in terms of economy, education, health, safety, environment and civic life.
The 2010 report provides valuable insights during these uncertain economic times. The relative strengths and weaknesses of our region compared to our peers is showcased and will continue to guide efforts to maintain and improve the quality of life in Orange County and indicates how the long-term attributes of a strong regional economy is an even more important measure of financial health.
It sounds like a great event; that’s why a couple of us are going. Hope to see you there.
On March 18, 2010, the Harvard Business School Association of Orange County will be hosting a breakfast with Mike Ruane. Mr. Ruane is an adjunct lecturer at UC Irvine and will be discussing the Annual Report Card of the Orange County Economy.
The report will provide insight into the strengths and weaknesses of Orange County compared to other regions. It will also serve as a guide to improve the quality of life in our county.
I look forward to attending this event and I’ll post a synopsis on the annual report upon my return.
Recently, Anil Puri, the dean of the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics at California State University Fullerton, helmed a panel discussion with industry leaders in Orange County. The topics covered ranged from real estate to banking to globalization. To read the edited transcript of this event click HERE.
To me, the most interesting part of the panel discussion centered on how the panel was dealing with the recession. Here’s a snippet:
Puri: What do you think is needed for a business to get on a growth trajectory now? What should they be planning for? How can they take advantage of improving conditions?
Young: The number one thing, all aside, comes from a conversation Paul and I were having, where Paul was talking about his commitment with his company to research during the recession. It’s now helping Emulex grow.
The same story within the Irvine Company. What we did was we spent more in the depths of the recession on research then the company ever has in its history.
And we spent lots of time in focus groups. We talked to people everywhere we could. We used every methodology that you can, ethnography research and so on, to find out what would get people excited to buy a new home. We wanted to go to some kind of creativity, an innovation, do something different.
The homes we opened on Saturday are very different from anything you have seen. So creativity, innovation, research is going to be the foundation of how you find a way to grow out of this recession.
Secondly, you have to be organized to get the capital, which it’s delightful to hear from our banker because it’s been absent in our industry. The third component is that the buyer is in the mood to buy, but they want quality. So you have to have innovation, you have to get organized on the capital side, and I think we are going to see a flight to quality.
So if you can touch those key components, you can go meet the market.
Even though this is a long piece it is well worth the read.
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