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The local economy fell by the second largest amount in a single month in November, second only to the drop in the index in October, according to the University of San Diego’s Alan Gin, whose index of local economic indicators has grown gloomier of late.

Also this morning, the state Employment Development Department released its latest estimates for unemployment in the region, pegging San Diego County’s rate at 6.9 percent. The EDD also revised its earlier October estimate up from 6.8 to 6.9 percent.

Gin’s index showed negatives in all six of the components examined — help wanted advertising, consumer confidence, building permits, claims for unemployment insurance, local stock prices and the outlook for the national economy.

Here’s Gin:

The outlook for the local economy remains grim at this point, at least for the short term.

I thought this was an interesting tidbit:

In the past, local consumer confidence responded positively to drops in the price of gasoline. But that relationship is not holding this time around, as the negative news about the rest of the economy overwhelms the positive news of lower gas prices.

Still, Gin hangs some optimism for the second half of 2009 on a few factors he’s expecting — lower gas prices, increased home sales as buyers are drawn out by low prices and mortgage rates, and some federal spending in the region through vehicles like the stimulus package I wrote about today.

Gin expects the unemployment rate to average at 7.5 percent next year, with higher numbers in the first half of the year balanced by better employment rates later on.

Back to the unemployment numbers. The sector that includes retail jobs lost more jobs between November 2007 and November 2008 than the construction sector did. Trade, transportation and utilities lost 7,700 jobs over the year, with nearly 6,400 of those lost in retail jobs like clothing and accessories and motor vehicle and parts.

Construction was down 6,200 jobs over the year. Government added 1,500 jobs in the same period.

KELLY BENNETT

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