Business Outlook

2013-2040 Amador County Economic Outlook*

  • Projected Economic Growth (2013-2018)
  • Expected retail sales growth: 12.9 %
  • Expected job growth: 7.1 %
  • Fastest growing jobs sector: Construction
  • Expected personal income growth: 14.9 %

Amador County is located in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is the only county in the state named for a native Californian. Although wine grape production in Amador County is small compared to counties like Napa and Sonoma, the amount of grapes harvested has increased over time as more new wineries have been established.

Amador County’s largest employer is the public sector, accounting for 39 percent of all wage and salary jobs. Many of these positions are associated with Mule Creek State Prison, which houses approximately 2,800 inmates and employs over 1,200 guards and support staff. Amador County has a population of 36,900 people and a total of 10,900 wage and salary jobs. The per capita income in Amador County is $37,862 and the average salary per worker is $49,643.

In 2012, a total of 222 wage and salary jobs were lost in Amador County, representing a decline of 2.0 percent. For Amador County, 2012 was the fifth consecutive year of job losses. The unemployment rate, however, fell from to 12.8 percent in 2011 to 11.7 percent in 2012.

During 2012, virtually all of the county’s job losses occurred in the public sector (-375 jobs). Since 2008, the public sector has lost over 1,300 positions, more than triple the total for any other industry. Several industries, however, added a small number of positions in 2012, such as manufacturing (+74 jobs), leisure and hospitality (+51 jobs), and construction (+19 jobs).

Between 2007 and 2012, the population of Amador County declined at an average annual rate of 0.6 percent. The majority of this decline occurred in 2011 and 2012, as net migration was sharply negative. Net migration should turn positive in 2013, and remain positive over the forecast. However, because of an older population base, Amador County has experienced a natural decrease (deaths outnumbering births) for more than two decades. This trend should continue, keeping population growth subdued.

  • Total employment is expected to increase by 1.0 percent in 2013. Between 2013 and 2018, growth will average 1.4 percent per year.
  • Average salaries are currently below the California state average, and will remain so over the forecast period. Inflation-adjusted salaries are expected to rise by an average of 1.3 percent per year from 2013 to 2018.
  • Between 2013 and 2018, the momentum for employment growth will be in government, professional services, education and healthcare, and construction. Together, these industries will account for 76 percent of net job creation in the county.
  • Population growth is expected to turn positive over the forecast period, averaging 0.5 percent per year between 2013 and 2018. However, the natural decrease will persist, preventing stronger growth rates.
  • An average of 340 net migrants will enter the county each year between 2013 and 2018.
  • Real per capita income is forecast to increase by 2.5 percent in 2013. Between 2013 and 2018, real per capita income is expected to increase by an average of 2.3 percent per year.
  • Total taxable sales, adjusted for inflation, are forecast to increase at an annual rate of 2.3 percent between 2013 and 2018.
    • Industrial production is forecast to increase by 3.3 percent in 2013. Between 2013 and 2018, the growth rate of industrial production will average of 2.9 percent per year.

*Information taken from California County Economic Outlook 2013-2040