Using its own novel model for assessing a county’s economic wellness, Reason in Government reviews relevant data and then grades the economic health and vitality of Santa Barbara County. This Report reveals that Santa Barbara County’s economy is not well, receiving an overall grade of “D+”. Notwithstanding a handful of positive trends, the County’s unemployment rate is high by historical standards, its poverty rate is high by any standard, its public finances are weakening at all levels of government, its high-paying jobs are in short-supply, and its lack of housing impedes economic growth. This Report contains several recommendations for actions that our elected officials, voters, business community, investors, and philanthropists should take in the near-term to improve our economic wellness and improve the quality of life in our County.
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