A new study suggests part of the Central Valley's economy may be on the rebound. The economic study finds that the southern part of the San Joaquin Valley is out performing other areas of the state in long-term job expansion. This includes Fresno, Kern and Tulare counties.
The study published by the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State L.A. finds that there are more jobs now in the South San Joaquin Valley than before the recession.
According to the findings, 61,300 non-farm jobs have been added to the market-- 8,000 more than what was lost in the recession.
The findings were presented Friday at Cal State Bakersfield by independent researchers from Beacon Economics.
"While the area is far behind, it is catching up to the rest of the state," says Christopher Thornberg with Beacon Economics.
These added jobs are in both the low- and high-wage sectors.
It's a positive trend that the study's authors say oppose popular beliefs about the Central Valley.
"We're seeing more people come in and actually connect with employers and being hired quickly, more so than we are seeing a lot of layoffs like we had during the recession," says Danette Scarry with America's Job Center.
With a combined population of about 2.3 million people, the south San Joaquin Valley is one of the fastest growing areas in the state, according to the report.
This 50 percent growth between 1990 to March 2014 is larger than that of more economically prominent areas in the state.
The study's authors say a growing population is an indicator of positive economic growth.
"We are really one of the fastest growing regions in the state, and we have a very promising future ahead of us," says Kathleen Knutzen with Cal State Bakersfield, a co-sponsor of the presentation.
The study also finds that consumer and business spending in these three counties is at an all time high.