The Orange County unemployment rate will average 8.2% this year and 6% in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic-caused recession, said California State University-Fullerton economist Mira Farka, in an increase over numbers forecast a little more than a month ago.
Farka, a CSUF associate professor and co-director of the Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting there, provided an updated economic outlook in an online program sponsored by the OC Forum.
Farka and her colleague Woods Center Director Anil Puri on April 22 had predicted 7% OC unemployment for this year and 5.3% for 2021.
Among her other findings:
• 44% of leisure and hospitality jobs “are gone” in Orange County, with more losses likely.
• “We do expect the total estimated job losses for Orange County to come to about 340,000 when this is all said and done.”
• A lot of the layoffs are temporary; healthcare sector will be first to come back along with manufacturing and education.
• Construction jobs will come back “pretty vigorously” especially in Orange County.