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The industries that benefited most from the housing boom — construction, retail, and finance/real estate — all grew between February and March, but all three industries are smaller than they were at this time last year.

Between March 2006 and March 2007, the construction sector shed 5,900 jobs, shrinking by 6.4 percent. The retail sales industry contracted by 2,300 jobs or 1.6 percent. And the “financial activities” sector, which includes real estate and mortgage lending, lost 2,500 jobs, shrinking by 3.0 percent.

Just as we saw last month, the remainder of the economy picked up the slack, growing by 19,300 jobs or 2.0 percent. Much of that increase was offset by the losses in the housing-boom sectors, however, which dragged the increase in overall San Diego employment down to 8,600 jobs or .7 percent.

When I put together the graph of job gains by sector last week I didn’t realize that a new batch of employment data was due out so soon. I will provide an udpated graph later this week.

— RICH TOSCANO

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