Though the official report won’t be out for a couple more weeks, Dr. Gökçe Soydemir recently presented 2021-2023 San Joaquin Valley Business Forecast’s mid-year update to the Turlock Chamber of Commerce, painting an optimistic picture of recovery for the region as COVID restrictions continue to lift.

In June 2020, Stanislaus State’s first of two forecasts authored by Foster Farms Endowed Professor of Business Economics Gökçe Soydemir correctly predicted that economic recovery would begin during the second half of 2020 — so long as everyone adhered to COVID-19 precautions and protocols. In his May presentation to the Chamber, Soydemir said that while the recovery did begin in late 2020, it was slowed due to the region’s hesitancy to wear masks as well as the development of new, mutated forms of the virus.

This is demonstrated by the San Joaquin Valley’s total employment, which sat at about 1.75 million prior to the pandemic, Soydemir said, and fell to less than 1.5 million when shutdowns first began. The number began to creep back toward 1.65 million in late 2020/early 2021 but has since begun to trend back downward.

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