The Orange County Register reports that large employers with organized-labor traditions — from logistics to manufacturing — have been lured to Riverside and San Bernardino counties for the region’s ample supply of cheaper Southern California real estate and workers.
The Inland Empire’s swift population growth also means a growing government sector that’s heavily unionized.
In 2017, Inland Empire had 351,033 union workers, the fourth largest group among 260 metro areas tracked behind the New York City region; L.A.-O.C. and Chicago. Keep in mind, the Inland Empire only has the 16th largest overall workforce.
And Inland Empire unions are growing, adding a stunning 72,248 jobs in 10 years. That’s double the growth rate of total employment in Riverside and San Bernardino counties since 2007.
It adds up to 20.7 percent of all Inland Empire workers last year being union members vs. 18.6 percent in ’07. That 2017 share ranked 19th highest nationwide. For metro areas with 1 million or more workers, only the New York’s workforce was more unionized.
In the past 10 years — from one economic peak to the current one — union-heavy Inland Empire employment rose by 13 percent. Statewide hiring grew jobs by 8 percent; nationally, 6 percent; and in L.A.-O.C., 4 percent.