Urban Institute: Stockton unemployment falling, jobs and housing prices rising

“Over the past year, unemployment fell, 4,500 jobs were created, and housing prices rose.”

That’s “Stockton at a glance,” according to data gathered by the Urban Institute in their Metro Monitor Dashboard. The “glance” paints a positive picture, and the region is trending in the right direction, but it’s important to remember that this is only a snippet of the overall picture, and because Stockton fell so far, there is more ground to make up. Nevertheless, Metro Monitor is pretty helpful if you are looking for data or trends in any metro area, helping to compile and organize information from a variety of sources.

Nothing in the Metro Monitor Dashboard is particularly groundbreaking in terms of the Stockton region, though there were some areas I found noteworthy.

– The Stockton metro area’s 4,500 job gain was primarily driven by the education and health sectors, which grew by 2,000 jobs (6.8%) from 2011, faster than most other areas in the country.
– Area jobs are heavily concentrated in the downtown Stockton area.
– Most job sectors in Stockton pay as good as or better than most other metro areas, particularly in health care.
– Owner occupied loans are lower than most other areas, while investor home loans are higher, a bad trend for neighborhoods.

Of particular note is the dashboard’s histogram of Stockton’s population totals by age compared to other US metro areas. It appears that Stockton has a higher number of children than most areas as well as lower numbers of senior citizens. However, the most interesting age group to me were the millennials. I have heard from many that Stockton does not attract or retain young adults, and there is probably a good amount of truth to that claim. However, according to the 2010 census data compiled by the Urban Institute, Stockton’s population has a normal level of young adults.

Source: Metro Monitor Dashboard, the Urban Institute

Source: Metro Monitor Dashboard, the Urban Institute

While Stockton surely has a long ways to go to compete with the Bay Area and Sacramento for young adults, there is certainly not a void in this demographic. If you take a look at similar sized cities in the rust and frost belt (such as Cleveland, Akron, Buffalo, Pittsburgh), many have a very distinct gap in their 20-30 year old population. In the region, Stockton has a comparable amount of young adults.

I encourage readers to browse around the site and explore all of the data this tool has to offer. Anyone surprised/disappointed/disagree with the data in Metro Trends?

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Categories: Community Commentary

Author:David A. Garcia

David A. Garcia founded SCL in March of 2012. He holds degrees from UCLA as well as Johns Hopkins University and currently works as the Chief Operating Officer at Ten Space in Downtown Stockton, and previously worked as a researcher/analyst for a congressional agency in Washington DC. The views expressed here are solely of the author.

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