“Any place where you’ve had a lot of new construction open up is vulnerable,” Kyser said. Highlights for the Antelope Valley include the good health of aerospace research and development work and the start of airline service from L.A./Palmdale Regional Airport to San Francisco International Airport. The average annual wage in 2006 for the High Desert was $36,957, which was up over the year by a stout 10.2 percent, according to the LAEDC. The Antelope Valley still needs to do a better job in “telling their story,” Kyser said. That story includes the availability of land and a pro-business attitude. Mel Layne, who heads up the Greater Antelope Valley Economic Alliance, agreed with the LAEDC report’s findings. “Everything is on the rise,” Layne said. “Overall, things are bright for the Antelope Valley.” Layne noted that the forecast shows the housing market starting to recover in 2009. “I hope he’s right,” Layne said. “The last time it lasted about 10 years.” Both Layne and Kyser agreed that although the rising foreclosures are a concern, the situation is nowhere near as bleak as the mid-1990s when foreclosures were as high as 3,700 a year. “We’re still in pretty good shape, but we’re heading in the wrong direction,” Layne said of foreclosures. For Santa Clarita, the good news includes the decision to keep Six Flags Magic Mountain operating, a slowly, but surely growing manufacturing sector, and strong employment in professional and business services. The average annual wage in Santa Clarita was $38,882 in 2006, according to the forecast. For the forecast, the LAEDC built in the effects of a strike in the entertainment industry, Kyser said. [email protected] (661) 267-5743 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PALMDALE – The Antelope and Santa Clarita valleys are in strong economic shape, but there are potential bumps in the road from the sluggish house marketing and potential strikes in the entertainment industry, according to economists. Both valleys are expected to see record employment this year, with the Antelope Valley gaining 4.1 percent, to 76,000 jobs, and Santa Clarita Valley growing 2.4 percent, to 85,000 jobs. Antelope Valley’s job growth is being driven by aerospace research and development while Santa Clarita Valley is showing gains in professional and business services and leisure and hospitality services, according to a midyear forecast by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation. “They both appear to be quite strong,” Jack Kyser, chief economist for LAEDC, said of the two North County regions. “The cloud over the Antelope Valley is housing construction.” The slowing housing market and rising foreclosure numbers are a drag on the economy. The key questions for the high desert are how many homeowners are in trouble because of difficulties with their subprime loans and how willing will the financial institutions be in working with those distressed homeowners, Kyser said.