Orange County employment situation improves

Professionals looking to live in a thriving metro with a strong economy may want to turn their focus to the real estate in Orange County. The southern California region features a decreasing unemployment rate and a strengthening job market.

According to the State of California Employment and Development Department, the labor force in Orange County was 1,614,500 in September 2012. About 1,499,500 people were employed in the region, which left 115,000 workers without a job - amounting to a 7.1 percent unemployment rate.

The occupations with the fastest predicted job growth for the metro area are captains, mates and pilots of water vessels.  The agency predicted that the number of available jobs will increase from 120 in 2008 to 190 in 2018 - a 58.3 percent employment change. The other four professions that round off the list of occupations with the fastest job growth percentage are water transportation workers, biomedical engineers, home health aides and biochemists and biophysicists.

In 2012, the occupations with the highest wages are chief executives, obstetricians and gynecologists, general pediatricians, family and general practitioners and physicians and surgeons. Chief executives topped the list, with a first quarter mean hourly wage of $104.73, according to the source.

Employment opportunities increase in Orange County
The Orange County Business Journal reports that area employers hired 9,500 workers in September 2012. This is a good sign, as it turns around the two-month trend of job cuts. The government sector saw the largest monthly gain in employment with 6,700 new workers, many of whom went to work for area schools.

New business enters Orange County
Watt Properties, based out of Santa Monica, recently completed a $20 million renovation of the Edinger Plaza. The Orange County Business Journal reports that the shopping center, located in Huntington Beach, covers 155,000 square feet. The redevelopment of the shopping center on 7490-7664 Edinger Avenue added approximately 10,000 square feet to the facility.

Other changes included landscaping and cosmetic changes. The news source claims that 94 percent of the plaza has been leased. A 25,000-square foot building previously leased to CVS Pharmacy has been turned into a 47,948-square foot space for a Dick's Sporting Goods. Another anchor business included in the shopping center is a Nordstrom Rack.