VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - The Ventura County Civic Alliance released the 2019 State of the Region report last week. The report centers around the latest research on the county's economy, environment, education, and much more.
Unfortunately, not all the findings are positive.
"It is not great," said Tony Biasotti, the author of the report. "The homeless population has been up two straight years. And rents are rising even faster than that."
The 128-page report is filled with data about Ventura County over the past two years.
"The State of the Region Report is a project that the Civic Alliance puts out and it brings together community leaders and concerned citizens in Ventura County to look at the problems the region is facing and talk about solutions," said Biasotti.
The date is researched by an economics professor at Cal Lutheran. Biasotti says the past couple of years has been really challenging for Ventura County.
"The economy is not great," said Biasotti. "The national economy and state economy is booming, but in Ventura County we have been in recession for the past three years. A mild recession with low economic growth or zero growth, but that is a little strange that that's happening when the rest of the nation is doing quite well."
Biasotti says a major cause for the negative economy is that the better paying professional jobs are either not growing or even shrinking in the area.
"We have not had a lot of housing growth, so the construction industry has been slow, and that has caused home prices and rents to go up and it has been hard on a lot of people," said Biasotti.
But the report is not all bad. The air and ocean water is cleaner than previous reports, as well as other findings.
"Ventura County has a low crime rate, and it has been getting lower for the past 20 some years," said Biasotti. "Teen smoking, teen pregnancy, and teen drug use are all down over the years we have been charting them."
This is just a small portion of what the whole report covers. You can download the report for free at the Civic Alliance website.