State's Wage-Earners May Have to Run Harder Just to Stay Even

Times Staff Writer

Californians will have to work harder and take on second jobs in increasing numbers to keep their incomes growing over the next eight years, according to a study released Monday.

The report by the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy, a Palo Alto research group, projects, however, that the state's median household income will be $44,480 in 1995, up from $39,370 last year. (All of the report's figures are based on the value of the dollar in 1986 to discount the impact of inflation.)

It also predicts that average per-capita income in 1995 will amount to $19,449, up from $16,778 in 1986.

Those increases are expected to be the result of continuing increases in the number of households with more than one wage earner and of workers with more than one job.

"Families have increased their work effort to maintain income in recent years," said Stephen Levy, principal author of the research group's report.

Levy said that by 1995, two-thirds of all married couple households in the state will have two wage earners, up from about 50% last year.

The report says that California will be hampered by a slowdown in the U.S. economy.

"The stubborn persistence of the nation's budget and trade deficit make it likely that economic growth will remain sluggish," Levy said, giving California a "fragile prosperity."

California's population is expected to rise an average of 500,000 annually through 1995, bringing the state's population to 31.6 million in eight years.

The state's population, which rose about 1.2 million over the last two years, will continue to be fueled by heavy foreign immigration and a resurgence of people moving to California from other regions of the United States.

According to the report, more than 75% of the population growth will come from minority groups, primarily Latinos and Asians.

The report also found that:

- Rapid population and job growth will continue in the Los Angeles Basin, which includes Imperial, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura and Los Angeles counties. Based on job growth and fueled by the arrival of Latino and Asian immigrants, the Los Angeles Basin is expected to maintain its dominance among California's economic regions.

The report said that Riverside and San Bernardino counties are expected to have the fastest population growth among the state's largest counties.

- The growth rate will decline slightly in most of the San Francisco Bay area, with population expected to expand more slowly than employment.

The report projected an increase in Bay Area jobs held by people living outside the region, in places such as San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties. The Bay Area, however, will remain the state's wealthiest region, with average household annual income highest in Marin and San Mateo counties in 1995, both above $69,000. Orange County is expected to come in fourth, at $61,909.

- The Los Angeles Basin will account for nearly $150 billion of the state's projected $300 billion in 1995 taxable sales--a category including retail sales and commercial transactions--which will make it a larger market than all but two states, New York and Texas.


1986 1995 Population 26.9 million 31.6 million Per Capita Personal Income $16,778 $19,449 Median Household Income $39,370 $44,480 Median Spendable Household Income $30,771 $34,765 Taxable Retail Sales $141.9 billion $196.5 billion

All dollar figures are based on the value of the dollar in 1986.

Source: Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy.

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