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LOS ANGELES–Two new economic reports say the county’s job growth will be even stronger in 2001, especially in the South Bay area.

The reports are good news for commercial real estate developers and other investors across Los Angeles, a county that throughout the second half of the 1990s enjoyed moderate growth, but not nearly as much as neighboring Orange, Riverside or San Bernardino counties. More jobs translates into higher sales at retail centers, additional demand for office and industrial space, more business travel for hoteliers and a growing need for housing.

In the first report, economists at California State University Fullerton say LA County employers will add more than 75,000 people to their workforce next year. That’s a solid increase from the 70,000 new jobs that are forecast to be created for all of 2000.

About 40% of the job growth will come in the service sector. Though service-oriented jobs are often characterized as paying relatively little, the CSU Fullerton report notes that the sector also includes some of the highest-paying jobs of all–including those in the Southland’s booming entertainment and high-tech industries.

Many of the new LA-area jobs will be created in Torrance, El Segundo and other parts of the South Bay, according to a separate report by the nonprofit Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. The nonprofit business-research group says 8,000 jobs should be created in the 15-city Bay Area next year, following the 8,400 jobs that are expected to be generated in the area in Y2K.

The group adds that the South Bay’s overall employment should hit 440,600 in 2001, up 15% from 1995. More than one-third of those jobs–152,500–will be in the service sector, followed by 74,600 in the retail industry and 71,100 in manufacturing.

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