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The California Employment Development Department’s employment estimates for February indicate that San Diego job growth has essentially flattened out. The sectors that thrived during the housing boom are now suffering through the bust, and while employment is growing outside of the housing boom industries, it is doing so barely enough to offset the housing-related losses.
Employment in the rest of the economy grew by 14,800 jobs or 1.5 percent, but that increase was almost entirely offset by the housing-related job losses such that the region as a whole gained a mere 300 jobs or .02 percent for the year.
San Diego’s unemployment rate weighed in at 5.0 percent in February, down from January’s 5.2 percent but up from the 4.3 percent rate in February 2007. To put this figure in perspective, local unemployment got as high as 8.6 percent during the worst of the early-1990s downturn and as high as 5.7 percent in the aftermath of the more recent recession.
— RICH TOSCANO