This week, Long Beach got great news about our economy. Unemployment has declined steadily for more than five years and has now reached a new low of 5.5 percent!
This rate is the same as it was in June 2007, before the global recession. Unemployment in Long Beach peaked at 14.6 percent in July 2010. Since then, Long Beach has added 21,600 new payroll jobs, for a current total of 225,100 jobs.
All of this is further evidence of the economic renaissance taking place here, which has included a $53-million, seven-story residential-retail complex coming to Broadway and Pacific Avenue; a $70 million, 17-story apartment tower set to open this year on Ocean Boulevard and Lime Avenue; the transformation of The Pike at Rainbow Harbor into The Pike Outlets, with Nike, H&M, Forever 21, Gap, Colombia Sportswear, Hot Topic, Converse, and an expanded Restoration Hardware outlet; a replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge now under construction and the Middle Harbor Terminal Redevelopment Project at the Port of Long Beach; and the success of Douglas Park, with the grand opening of Virgin Galactic, completion of the Mercedes-Benz west coast headquarters - which is believed to be the largest industrial lease in the Los Angeles area in the last 25 years - and the opening of the Universal Technical Institute 138,000 square foot campus.
Long Beach is also a hotbed for startup activity, entrepreneurs and ingenuity.
I want to strongly encourage every resident and visitor to support local businesses, because every dollar spent locally helps to create jobs, and provides funding for public safety, parks and libraries. I’m committed to doing everything possible to see this kind of growth continue and expand, so we can ensure that prosperity and economic growth benefit everyone in our community.