City of Turlock Optimistic About Local Economy

With new projects on the way, such as the Avena Bella Housing Project, the construction of the Public Safety Center, the Blue Diamond expansion into Turlock, and the planned retail growth with Old Navy, Olive Garden, and ULTA Beauty, it is visible that community members are excited to witness these developments being made within the City of Turlock.

Part of this enthusiasm, however, can be attributed to what these various projects bring along with them: employment opportunities.

“We are seeing major construction projects go forward like Blue Diamond, Avena Bella, the Public Safety Center, etc.,” states Turlock City Manager Roy Wasden. “All of which create jobs during construction and Blue Diamond will create jobs when they go into operation next spring.”

According to the California Employment Development Department, Turlock had an average unemployment rate of 13.2% in 2011, with the Civilian Labor Force including 28,700 individuals of whom 24,800 were employed, and 3,800 unemployed. In December 0f 2011 the unemployment rate in Turlock was at 12.3%.

“We are seeing many other projects move forward causing us to be optimistic,” affirms Wasden.

The future job growth rate, which is the projected change in employment availability based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors, is currently predicted to be 15.1% in Stanislaus County between 2011 and 2016, according to the Stanislaus County Economic Forecast. The expected personal income growth is estimated to be 17.1%.

The current top ten employers in Turlock include Foster Farms, Turlock Unified School District, Emanuel Medical Center, California State University Stanislaus, Turlock Irrigation District, the City of Turlock, WalMart, Target, Costco, and Mid-Valley Dairy.

The U.S. Census Bureau showed that in 2010 the Median Household Income in Turlock was $53,605. At the county level the Median Household Income was $48,517 and the state level was at $54,459.

According to the Stanislaus County Economic Forecast, employment growth will be led by job creation in professional services, education and healthcare services, leisure services, retail trade, and construction between 2011 and 2016. Farm employment is the only sector to lose jobs during this period.

Wasden explained that while the City of Turlock has not received the numbers for the sales tax covering the holiday season yet, the City saw revenue growth in the previous quarter and project growth again.

“We projected a 2% growth in sales tax in the budget but saw 2% or 3% better than that the first quarter and believe that will be reflected in the March report,” stated Wasden.

With the addition of ULTA Beauty, Olive Garden and Old Navy, the 1 million square foot Monte Vista Crossings Shopping Center will be 100% leased. The Turlock shopping center is one of the largest open air retail centers in California and is widely known within the retail industry as a strong sales performer for the tenants.

“Monte Vista Crossings has held up extremely well during the recent economic difficulties. Most of our tenants are performing well above national averages, and we continue to attract new retail concepts to the project,” stated Mark Hall, President of Hall Equities Group which is the developer and owner of Monte Vista Crossings. “We expect Monte Vista Crossings to continue its expansion over the coming years, and play an even more important role in providing retail services and economic vitality to Southern Stanislaus County.”

On February 16th, while delivering the State of the City Address at the Chamber of Commerce Membership Breakfast in Turlock, Mayor John Lazar exhibited an optimistic outlook on the economic improvements that are to be taking place over the next few years in the community, ensuring that “Turlock’s recovery is on track.”

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