Redding has a high cost of living compared to the national average. It is rather affordable, however, compared to California's average.
Redding's housing index is 124, while California's overall housing index is 189. This makes it much more affordable for Californians to live in Redding than in most of the state's cities. Transportation, utilities and groceries are slightly more expensive in Redding than in other California cities, but not high enough to offset the lower housing costs.
Redding's population grew by about 11.1 percent between 2000 and 2010. The growth rate has slowed considerably in recent years. Researchers estimate that the city's population grew by 1.9 percent between 2010 and 2014.
Redding, CA Job Opportunities
Redding has a diverse economy with job opportunities in government, healthcare, education and retail. Shasta County is the city's largest employer, followed by Mercy Medical Center, the City of Redding, and Shasta Regional Medical Center.
The high concentration of healthcare facilities means doctors, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals have ample job opportunities. Shasta County hires public school teachers as well as government workers. Shasta College also provides employment opportunities for teachers with advanced degrees.
Redding, CA Employment Trends
Historically, Redding has a higher unemployment rate than the state. Unemployment rates grew quickly during the Great Recession. Unemployment reached its height in February 2010, when Redding's rate was 17.2 percent and California's rate was 1.2 percent. Since then, employment opportunities have grown steadily. In May 2015, Redding's unemployment rate was 6.3 percent. This is only slightly higher than the pre-recession rate, which was about 6 percent near the end of 2007.
The growing number of retail jobs in the Redding area could help account for the falling unemployment rate. Unfortunately, retail employees rarely earn salaries higher than minimum wage. Residents with college degrees should have better opportunities within the medical, government and education sectors.