Central Valley Economy Lags Behind Rest of State
Despite its phenomenal growth the Central Valley is struggling economically according to a new report. As Bob Hensley reports the study by the Great Valley Center indicates the future for the region looks bleak.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
There are no revelations in the report from the Modesto-based think tank. The economy in the 19-county region lags behind the rest of the state in most categories. Unemployment is high. Those who do work make less. Good jobs are scarce. Housing is out of reach of a growing number of residents. Traffic congestion is accelerating at an alarming rate. The study found it increased 52 percent in Modesto and Stockton from 1998 to 2002. That’s more than twice the statewide average. During the same period, traffic flow jumped 90-percent in Sacramento and a whopping five hundred and 77-percent in Fresno. Great Valley President Carol Whiteside says economic trends need to be reversed within a decade or it may be too late. WHITESIDE :09—We’re still building. We’re still shaping. We’re still forming. But in the next eight to ten years those decisions will be made and we won’t be able to go back and fix them either. Whiteside says to bring about positive change the impetus has to come from the grass-roots level, not from local and regional officials. Bob Hensley KXJZ News.