Business & Economy

Tourism, trade and entertainment are driving Southland's economic recovery

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The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation is optimistic this go-round. Its economic forecast, released Wednesday, says that the Southland’s economy is on the road to recovery, and that entertainment, trade and tourism are in the driver’s seat.

The recession plunged the region into a big hole, however, the LAEDC's forecast says we’re digging out. A rebound in international trade means a lot more work for longshore workers at the ports of LA and Long Beach.

Chief Economist Nancy Sidhu says the Southland already started welcoming more tourists last summer, and that’ll continue this year.

"The folks who went out shopping during the holiday season, those who concluded that it really was gonna be okay," says Sidhu. "Those same folks are going to decide to take vacations."

A rise in on-location film and television shoots is also helping Los Angeles County’s economy recover. Nancy Sidhu says a state tax credit for productions has played a role. She says advertisers are shooting lots of commercials in the area and that’s a good sign for the economy.

"Commercials are one of those expenses that businesses tend to cut back on during recession, and then that money comes right back as soon as the recovery comes into view," says Sidhu. "So automobile commercials - and we make lots of those in Southern California and in downtown LA – have come gangbusters back up."

The forecast says LA County’s unemployment rate will average just above 12 percent this year and fall to around 11.5 percent next year.