SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

There's big contrast between how people perceive the state of the U.S. economy compared to the real picture. A panel of experts spoke in Santa Barbara Thursday about how the economy is actually getting back to it's normal state

Economist Mark Schneipp says there's been job creation for 35 consecutive months, people are buying cars, home sales and consumer spending is up. Yet there is still a lot of pessimism among Americans. A lot of people don't see much improvement now or moving forward.

This negative view mainly stems from the high unemployment numbers. As of October unemployment was at 7.3%.

In Santa Barbara there's a big surge in high-tech companies and less vacancies when it comes to commercial property downtown. The new housing market is set to boost north county's economy as well. Areas such as Santa Maria and Orcutt are expected to see a jump in the next 4-5 years.

President Obama's Affordable Care Act is an area of uncertainty. Economists are closely watching to see what kind of long term effects it will have.

NewsChannel 3 Anchor Shirin Rajaee reports.