Signs Show Local Economy is Picking Up

Unemployment claims have dropped to the lowest level since April 2008. A positive sign that the economy is improving.

They're celebrating in Bellflower where a vacant lot downtown is now the future site of a 30-unit condo and retail development, and restaurants are ready to sign a lease.

Project developer Paul Feilberg said it's unheard of to be signing leases when we still have a dirt lot, especially in these economic times.

"I think it's a very positive sign," he said.

And there are other signs that the economy as a whole is picking up steam at the end of the year.

The Federal Labor Department announced Thursday that unemployment claims have dropped to the lowest level since April of 2008.

"To see investors stepping up, I'm beginning to think that if they spend money, if they invest money, it will pay off because there will be economic demand, and I think that's the ball game," says Michael Hiltzik, a business columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

Positive signs of recovery are mostly along the California coast, but Hiltzik says that isn't a surprise.

"We're going to have to continue development and recovery here on the coast, and then as that builds up it moves inland," says Hiltzik. "That's what happened 20 years ago. That's what built up the Inland Empire."

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