The Inland Empire is one of the fastest growing regions in California. Commercial and industrial development offers good paying jobs and opportunities for working class families. The logistics industry continues to drive the Inland Empire’s economy. The unemployment rate in the Inland Empire reached a record high level of 15.1-percent in 2010, the growth associated with logistics industry helped boost the economy and create good-paying local jobs that in-turn lowered the unemployment in Riverside and San Bernardino counties to an all-time low of 3.6-percent in 2022.
With 40-percent of goods entering the U.S. through the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the Inland Empire’s proximity to two of the largest highways, major railroads and airports makes it the ideal staging area for goods to be distributed across California and throughout the rest of the country. Currently, the region boasts half a billion square feet of warehouse space with approximately a one percent vacancy rate. That’s an astounding number compared to the rest of the state. The need for additional warehouse space combined with consumers’ desire for goods requires the construction of additional warehouses. The region relies on them to sustain and grow its economy.
A growing logistics industry also provides incentives for developers to invest in the region. Residents benefit from roadway improvements, water and sewer upgrades, and critical infrastructure. These growing infrastructure needs bring about even more jobs for working class families. They provide steady work, insurance, and a path to improving one’s quality of life. Working class families can purchase homes, often unattainable in other regions across California.
Improving the economy and the environment are important to all residents and are not mutually exclusive. The California Air Resources Board, South Coast Air Quality Management District and local cities and counties have all adopted aggressive regulations aimed at lowering truck, tail pipe and GHG emissions across the region. And those policies are working.
If the Inland Empire cannot meet the demand for warehouses and the opportunities that the logistics industry brings, the Inland Empire will lose good-paying jobs, affordable housing, and infrastructure improvements – all things that help working class families prosper.
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