Since the mid-1990s, job growth in Desert Hot Springs has exceed the Inland Empire, California’s fastest growing area. In 2002-2003, the community’s job growth was a strong 13.3% and 11.7% compared to 3.2% and 2.2% for the inland region (Exhibit 14).
From 1991-2003, Desert Hot Springs employment grew from 1,701 to 2,988 -- a 75.6% in this period (Exhibit 12). Desert Hot Springs’s retail, entertainment and service sectors added 489 new jobs from 1991-2003, representing 38.0% of the city’s job growth (Exhibit 13). The government, education and utility group was up 267 or 20.8% of its gain. Construction added 165 or 12.8% of the increase. Together, these three sectors accounted for 71.6% of the city’s job growth. Meanwhile, professional services added 159 jobs. Retailing and agriculture were up 68, and manufacturing & distribution added 43 jobs.
From 1991-2003, the growth of employment in Desert Hot Springs has included significant changes in the makeup of its economy. The hotel and amusement group saw its share of jobs grow from 9.6% in 1991 to 21.9% in 2003. It now has the city’s largest group of employers. Population growth caused the government, education and utility group to add workers and go from 18.8% to 19.7% of the city’s jobs. Professional services also gained jobs moving from 4.7% to 8.0%. Employment growth in the construction sector increased its share from 8.7% to 10.5%.
In 1991, the average pay per worker in Desert Hot Springs was $16,648. By 2003, this had reached $24,671 (Exhibit 20). For the 1991-2003 period, the gain was $8,023 or 48.2%. The city’s average pay level was below that of the Coachella Valley at $29,831.
There is a good correlation between average pay by sector in Desert Hot Springs and the education or technical training required by workers within it. The highest paying sectors were the government, education & utility group ($43,612), professional services ($28,000) and construction ($26,272).
The number of firms in Desert Hot Springs has also recently increased. Among the major sectors, the largest number of Desert Hot Springs’s firms in 2003 was in retail (54; 19.8%), construction (41; 15.0%) and other services (38; 14.2%). These were followed by professional services (37; 13.6%) and finance, insurance & real estate.