UCR Extension Newsletter, October 2013

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In Demand: Logistics

Logistics Leads the Way to Job Growth in the IE

Jobs in Demand Several major job sectors in the Inland Empire are showing signs of life after years of stagnation or decline. Restaurants and bars, logistics, healthcare, and management and professions showed the most growth in the first seven months of 2013 compared to the same period last year, according to statistics from the California Employment Development Department. Logistics, which is the transportation and distribution of goods, added 5,000 new jobs to the region so far this year, which accounts for about 20 percent of the overall job growth. Even though restaurants and bars hired more people, those are mostly low-paying jobs that don’t do much to drive the economy.

“Of the sectors that bring money to the region, logistics is by far the most important,” said John Husing, a research economist specializing in studying the nature and growth of Riverside and San Bernardino counties. “It’s also a sector that employs a great number of marginally educated workers, which for us is crucial given that 47 percent of our adult population didn’t get past high school.”

Inland Empire Job Growth

Hiring in the healthcare industry, which added 3,086 jobs, has slowed recently perhaps because of uncertainty about the impact of Obamacare. But, Husing predicted a strong rebound because of the region’s persistent shortage of healthcare workers at every level from medical secretaries and assistants to nurses and physicians.

Companies that provide management and professional services such as engineering, law and finance also are expected to continue growing as construction picks up in the region and companies that moved out of the area during the recession start returning.

Employment gains will be accompanied by an increased demand for training programs especially in the healthcare and logistics sectors. “There’s an enormous need for training in the logistics sector because the technology of the business has shifted radically,” Husing said. “It’s gone from guys putting things in boxes to the care and feeding of robotic and computerized systems.” Workers won’t be able to advance in the logistics industry where the median pay is $43,000 without some sort of rapid training program that allows them to understand the technology, he said.

To help meet the need for employment training, UCR Extension offers a variety of courses and professional certificate programs in healthcare, logistics and management. Customized on-site training programs also are available.

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