There is cause for optimism in Stockton as the unemployment rate steadily decreases.
After being hit by the recession in 2008, Stockton’s unemployment rate peaked in 2010 at 17.5 percent. Just five years later the number has declined to 10.5 percent.
Since declaring bankruptcy in 2012, Stockton has had to fight to rebuild its economy. Now as the city transitions out of bankruptcy, it becomes an attractive suitor for incoming business.
Stockton Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer, Doug Wilhoit, spoke glowingly about what the city has to offer.
“We are situated better than most communities our size because of our access location,” said Wilhoit.
Highway 99, Interstate 5 and the Deep Water Channel make Stockton an easy-access destination.
The city is centralized in a major agricultural area, and sits between two larger markets — the Sacramento and the San
Francisco Bay Area.
KeHe Distributers, North America’s largest distributor of natural food products, has noticed this and is opening up a distribution center in Stockton.
The company is moving into 450,000 square-foot building at the NorCal Logistics Center on Arch Road.
The new distribution center plans to bring 200 new jobs to the area.
Delta College student, Kody Bowerman, spoke about the difficulties he faced in his recent job search.
“It can be hard if you don’t have any interview experience,” Bowerman said. After multiple interviews in the Stockton-Lodi area, he was finally able to get a job at a nearby restaurant.
According to research done by CareerBuilder, Stockton’s job market ranks 12th in the nation.
Stockton is ranked high despite an unemployment rate nearly 5 percent higher than the national average and more than 3 percent higher than the state average.
“Fortunately, for Stockton-Lodi, some of the index’s forward-looking variables are very promising. Specifically, job listing (ranked No. 18) grew 9 percent over a recent six-month period, and overall employment is projected to grow faster than the national average from 2014-2020,” said CareerBuilder Corporate Communications Manager Ryan Hunt in a recent news release by the San Joaquin Partnership.
This news offers hope to a city that needs it.
Stockton has had to bear the weight of its record-breaking bankruptcy, but now looks to restore its place as an All American city.
Wilhoit’s optimism for the city’s future appears to be supported by others.
Healthcare, law enforcement and transportation were some of the fields he mentioned that should expect some growth.