Good Jobs in the Inland Empire

The Center for Social Innovation released a report today that provides important insights about the effects of the COVID-19 recession on good jobs in the region, with early indicators of how these jobs are developing during the subsequent recovery. The concept of a ‘good job’ universally centers around a job that provides stable and relatively high compensation to workers. We define good jobs according to earnings, provision of benefits, and weeks and hours of work (year-round, full-time work).

Prior to the pandemic, employment, earnings (with caveats), and inequality were growing in Southern California and the Inland Empire specifically. This was driven largely by growth in good jobs, particularly those requiring a Bachelor’s degree (BA). A smaller share of the jobs in the IE are high-paying, stable, and carry benefits (good jobs) than in the rest of Southern California. 

The report notes that the COVID-19 recession has been more dramatic than the Great Recession nationally, statewide, and regionally. Employment in the IE fell particularly sharply. Good jobs requiring a BA have fared best, whereas those without a BA have been hit particularly hard with comparable employment declines in good sub-BA jobs and other sub-BA jobs. The report concludes with signs and trends for future growth in good jobs, and reviews various efforts and initiatives in the region working to increase good jobs for all workers, including those with and without four-year college degrees.