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South Placer County Report Paints Rosy Picture

Auburn, Calif. – Led by strong growth in the health care, professional services and residential construction industries, south Placer County is thriving according to a new report on the area’s employment profile.

In support of developing the Sunset Area in the unincorporated portion of the county near Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln, the county’s economic development office commissioned the report by nationally-renowned economist Dr. Christopher Thornberg with Beacon Economics. Thornberg presented his findings to the county board of supervisors today at their meeting in Auburn. Placer County is currently leading the planning effort to determine future uses of the underdeveloped area, considered to be a key driver of the region’s economic future.

“To make good decisions on development, you have to have good data,” said Thornberg. “And this is about the best data you can imagine.”

South Placer County is home to 90 percent of Placer’s residents and about 80 percent of its jobs. According to the report, the county has more than recovered from the recession and currently enjoys a low unemployment rate of 4.4 percent, with job growth strongest in small businesses that employ fewer than 50 people.

While manufacturing jobs have declined, they have more than been made up for by growth in high-level professional services, which tend to produce high-income jobs. Education levels and median income both remain higher than average for the region and the state. Thornberg said he was surprised to find that logistics and government employment were both low relative to the region.

“You are no longer a bedroom community to Sacramento,” Thornberg told the board. “You’ve become your own job center.”

The economic development office has a number of projects planned for the coming year to advance county development goals. Toward making the best possible data available to existing and prospective business owners, Placer has launched a new online dashboard, Choose Placer, to help them make smart business decisions.

Placer also plans to establish a new business resource center in Rocklin, intended as a one-stop-shop for business owners to get help with permitting and planning processes, business plans and hiring. The county’s film office is working toward fully automating the film permit application process to help attract more productions to the county. Annually, film productions contribute an average of $1.3 million to the local economy.

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