Camarillo Council reviews local job market

By Logan McFadden

At the Camarillo City Council meeting on May 13, 2015, a presentation on jobs and the factors affecting the job market in Camarillo and Ventura County was made. The presentation was titled Comprehensive Economic Development and Strategy. Camarillo is part of an urban area which is ranked 15th out of 100.

The U.S. Department of Commerce requires a comprehensive plan to access certain federal grants. A broadly informed and data driven regional assessment is required. The plan captures strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The plan addresses broad goals and performance indicators.

Camarillo’s strengths by sector include the following:
• Manufacturing
• Defense – Naval Base
• Export/Global Trade
• Finance and Insurance
• Health Care
• Hospitality and Tourism

The top two industry sectors are manufacturing and retail. Ventura County has 11% of total payroll jobs in the manufacturing sector while Camarillo has 20.6%. The retail sector is 10.6% and 12.5%, respectively. Overall, Ventura County has a shortage of industrial zoned property in many cities; however, Camarillo has the largest share.

The following weaknesses were identified in Ventura County:
• Lack of affordable workforce housing
• Lagging constructions jobs – There was 21,000 jobs before the 2008 recession. As a result of the recession, the county lost 10,000 construction jobs. Only 3,000 jobs have been regained since the end of the recession.
• High office space vacancy
• Shortage of industrial land supply
• Transportation infrastructure

Where we live isn’t where we work. The ten city average for Ventura County is 22.6% of the workers who live in the city where they work. For all of Ventura County the ratio is 50.9%. Orange County is 64.6% and Los Angeles County is 81.8%. In Camarillo there are 24,276 payroll jobs. This does not include self- employed workers and home based businesses. Of the total payroll jobs in Camarillo, only 4,656 or 19% of workers are living in Camarillo.

The job market threats in Ventura County are as follows:
1. Fundamental lack of jobs
2. Uncertain capacity within urban boundaries to accommodate the number of jobs optimal for sustainability
3. Uncertain infrastructure to support job growth
4. Risk upsetting balance that supports our quality of life

Ventura County has a population of 842,967. There are 323,900 industry jobs. Thus, the percent of jobs per population is 38%. The percent of jobs per worker is 73.8%. Orange County is 48.6% and 92.4%, respectively. Los Angele County is 42.4% and 84.8%, respectively. Santa Barbara County is 46% and 87.3%, respectively. Stated differently, Ventura County has about 75 jobs for every 100 workers.

Based on the above employment data, the priorities are as follows:
1. Regional collaboration
2. Investment in key industries representing most continuing and expanding economic potential
3. Investing in workforce development for improving work readiness, creating labor force of choice
4. Improving regional infrastructure: Water, transportation and broadband
5. Promoting a sustainable balance of employment, housing choices, agriculture production, open space and natural resources.

Ventura County needs to invest in quality education and build a workforce pipeline. Businesses will come in and hire where they find talent. A well balanced workforce provides a competitive advantage in the 21st Century.

Flynn Road Business Park

Flynn Road Business Park

Prior Council Articles:


Logan McFadden is a city reporter and a recently retired banker, residing in Camarillo. He volunteers for the Heritage Action Sentinel team and serves as the AMAC Delegate to the 26th Congressional District and a Convention of States District Captain.

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