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7 Southern California business trends to watch in 2018

By in Press Enterprise on January 2, 2018

By Jonathan Lansner

Happy new year!

It’s a perfect time for a fresh start, so your business columnist has prepared his resolutions for how he’ll watch the Southern California economic climate in 2018.

I’ll start with the assumption that 2017 ended with monetary things being fairly good for most people – setting a fairly high bar for any analysis of the New Year’s progress.

Still, numerous issues – housing and congestion, to name obvious ones – will require significant work throughout the community this coming year.

Here are seven things I’ll be watching in 2018: I resolve to …

1. Key on paychecks

Southern California’s strong job market means most local bosses have run out of easy choices for hiring.

So, the only way for employers to attract and/or retain workers is to raise salaries and workplace benefits. And 2017 saw some of the biggest jumps in various wage yardsticks since before the Great Recession.

I’ll be keeping my eyeballs glued on measures of local compensation for workers to see just how tight an employment market we have and what bosses are willing to do about it.

2. Keep long-term focus

As always, I will try to keep my statistical efforts on extended Southern California trends, not the day’s data noise.

It’s way too easy for the media, investors, bosses – and even the average citizen – to get caught up in the instant gratification of trying to analyze the short-run news of the moment. It’s a fruitless effort unless perhaps you’re day-trading stocks.

Long-lens thinking is especially valuable as we watch an economic expansion enter its eighth year with some surprising momentum.

3. Open mind about tax cuts

Lots of folks don’t like the GOP’s new tax cuts that were recently signed into law by President Donald Trump. That doesn’t mean the entire legislation is a waste.

Large changes to laws with broad economic impact have a […]    

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