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The employment sectors that benefitted from San Diego’s housing boom continue to shrink now that the boom is over. The rest of San Diego’s economy, meanwhile, is having a tougher time keeping up.

The housing boom sectors — construction, retail, and finance/real estate — have collectively shed 12,700 jobs since June of last year. 7,400 of those jobs were lost in the construction industry, with another 3,500 lost in the “financial activities” sector that is home to both real estate and mortgage lending. The retail industry got off comparitively easy with a year-over-year loss of 1,800 jobs.

Outside of these three sectors, the economy added 14,300 jobs. Even at this relatively healthy growth rate of 1.4 percent, however, the rest of the economy is having trouble making up for all those disappearing housing-related jobs. In total, San Diego has added just 1,600 jobs in the past year, representing a meager growth rate of .1 percent.

The early-1990s recession and housing bust have both been universally blamed on declining employment in the defense and aerospace manufacturing industries. In truth, that recession saw more job losses in real estate and construction than in manufacturing. The housing-related job losses that resulted from an unsustainable real estate boom had a big impact on the early-90s economy. They are doing so today as well.


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