from National University System Institute for Policy Research
Imperial County job-growth rate over the past 5 years
Imperial County renewable-energy projects built in the past ten years have helped the economy and created jobs, but not as many jobs as expected, according to a study by the National University System Institute for Policy Research.
Renewable energy projects approved in Imperial County since 2007
Imperial's 19.6 percent unemployment rate is the highest of any county in the state, and almost one out of four persons (23.7 percent) in the county live below the poverty line.
Projects resulting from federal grants, state mandates, and the controversial Sunrise Powerlink of San Diego Gas & Electric have helped boost the Imperial County economy. Wages in construction jobs have risen. San Diego State University has created the Center for for Energy Sustainability at its Brawley campus. The economy has been boosted by increased property and sales-tax revenue, property-value increases, land-lease revenues, and infrastructure improvements, according to the study.
While job increase has been positive, it has not been as much as projected, says the institute.