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Outside the housing boom beneficiary sectors, which have become artificially and unsustainably large in recent years, the local economy added 17,700 jobs since November 2005. This represents a fairly healthy increase of 1.8 percent.
However, the construction sector was down 3.3 percent from a year ago and the financial activity sector, which includes real estate, was down 1.2 percent during the same period. Retail employment was up a slim .2 percent.
The three housing boom beneficiary sectors collectively employed 3,800 fewer people than in November 2005. This decline was enough to drag total employment growth down to 13,900 jobs, or 1.1 percent.
If the housing-related sectors continue to shrink, which seems likely, they will become an increasing burden on the overall economy in the year ahead.
— RICH TOSCANO