JUNE 2021
San Bernardino County will see a continued surge in the number of working-age adults over the next quarter century, further evidence that we’re building the kind of labor pool businesses covet.


San Bernardino County’s unemployment rate holds steady in April

CSUSB President Tomás Morales on his first job

WDB Board Member Lina Montes on support for small businesses

WDB Chairman Phil Cothran on the labor market shortage

The planners and researchers at the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) project that San Bernardino County will add 565,000 people and 230,000 jobs by 2045 – increases of 25% and 27%, respectively, over 2020 levels. By comparison, the rest of the six-county region will see average population and employment growth of 14% during that period – a gap that reinforces why our county has emerged as one of the most sought-after economic and employment centers in California.

A deeper dive into SCAG’s estimates reveals another significant advantage over our coastal neighbors: A rapidly growing labor pool. Between 2016 and 2045, San Bernardino County will have seen its working-age population (16-64) grow by 342,000 – again, a 25% increase. That’s 2 1/2 times the rate of growth for Southern California as a whole. Here, move-ins are only part of the story. As one of the youngest population centers in the state, San Bernardino County offers businesses a growing pipeline of educated and trainable workers entering the labor force for the first time.

Two other factors to consider when comparing the 230,000 projected new jobs with a working-age population growth of 342,000:

1) Not all 342,000 will enter the labor force. That’s a historic reality in good economic times, and bad.

2) In addition to new jobs being created, existing jobs will experience turnover, due to retirements and other factors.

In either case, San Bernardino County is well positioned for the future.
Monthly Labor Market Update
SB County, Inland Empire continue to lead California’s post-COVID recovery
San Bernardino County’s unemployment rate held steady in April, at 7.7%, as the Inland Empire continued to outperform the state as a whole, according to the latest data from the California Employment Development Department (EDD). April marked one year from the low point of the COVID-19 downturn, and since then, the county has added nearly 90,000 payroll jobs. Across the IE, the biggest year-over-year gains have been in trade, transportation and utilities (up 65,400 jobs), reinforcing the region’s strength as a national supply chain hub. Leisure and hospitality, meanwhile, has regained more than 35,000 jobs lost during the early weeks of the pandemic.
My very first job was delivering The New York Post in the Bronx. My paper route spun off several side jobs, including shining shoes by the subway and assisting a building superintendent who was a customer of mine on my paper route. One day when I was collecting my fee, he asked me if I would be interested in sweeping and mopping two four-story buildings after I finished delivering my papers. For the next four years, every Saturday, I would return to those buildings to sweep and mop them. While in college, I drove a yellow cab in New York City, primarily in Manhattan. I found that to be one of the most interesting jobs, picking up rides to the airport and around the city. And now, I am completing my 46th year in higher education, supporting and transforming the lives of first-generation students. I have been truly blessed.
Expungement & Hiring Event
60 employers, 891 job seekers, 4,500 career opportunities ... all in one room
WDB was proud to partner with the San Bernardino County Public Defender’s Office, Department of Human Services, 5th District County Supervisor Joe Baca Jr. and the Way World Outreach in hosting a hugely popular Expungement & Hiring Event on May 27.

More than 60 employers participated, with 4,500 career opportunities available. Among the 891 job candidates who showed up, 106 were scheduled for second-round interviews. In addition, 480 Record Expungement applications were completed for formerly incarcerated San Bernardino County residents, with another 145 referrals made to the Los Angeles and Riverside County Public Defender’s Office.
Pictured above, from left: Kimberly Knaus, Field Representative for the 5th District County Supervisor; Pastor Janet Casas of the Way World Outreach; Curtis Compton, WDB Business Services Supervisor; 5th District County Supervisor Joe Baca Jr.; WDB Executive Director Marlena Sessions; and Channing Hawkins, Special Assistant to the 5th District County Supervisor.

For a video of the event, click below.
‘This agency plays a very important role’
Lina Montes, CEO of G.O. Pallets in Fontana, and her husband, Edgar, the company’s director of operations.
Lina Montes might be one of the newest members of the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board (WDB), but she understands the critical role it plays in creating economic opportunity as well as anyone.

Montes is CEO of G.O. Pallets Inc. in Fontana, a business her father started in 1984. Over the years, she has leaned on WDB for support in identifying and landing employees.

“I’ve known about Workforce for years,” she says. “Instead of going through an employment agency, I’ve been able to find good workers through the county. They’ve got a lot of resources, and can provide the job training that’s so important to small businesses such as mine.”

It’s her understanding of the challenges small business face that led Montes to a position on the board. “This agency plays a very important role,” Montes says.

Message from the Chair
Recovery is here – our work is just starting
Phil Cothran, Chairman, San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board

The labor market shortage has been well-documented as businesses across the country struggle to fill positions. As highlighted above, San Bernardino County is better positioned than most, with our growing population and quality-of-life benefits that are attractive to businesses and job seekers. But we're not immune to the challenges faced by employers everywhere as record numbers of working age adults wait for their unemployment benefits to end. That day will come, and with it, the reminder of just how important a job is. At WDB, our team of Business Services specialists works with employers everyday, helping them identify and screen potential workers and, in many cases, providing the training resources they need to make the experience a success for everyone. As one of our newest board members, Lina Montes, speaks from her own experience as a small business owner: “This agency plays a very important role.” We appreciate that, but recognize that our work is just beginning as we challenge ourselves to reawaken the labor market from its COVID slumber. That means being more proactive, more aggressive and more creative than ever in helping businesses meet their labor needs.
Coming up
WDB hosts free virtual seminars throughout the week to help job seekers on topics such as interviewing skills, resume building and navigating the employment resources available during the pandemic. If you know of anyone who could use this valuable assistance, a calendar of upcoming sessions is available here.

In the meantime, here are some upcoming events and release dates.

Friday, June 18: California EDD releases May jobs report.

Friday, July 2: U.S. Department of Labor releases June jobs report.
For archived videos of our free Business Services webinars, such as this one on building a successful team, click here.

Stay up to date
Click here to catch up on past editions of Workforce Update, WDB’s monthly e-newsletter and labor market intelligence report.

If you know others who would like to receive this timely and important information, please invite them to join our mailing list at info.workforce@wdd.sbcounty.gov.