February proved to be another brutal month for San Diego’s job market, according to the EDD’s latest estimates. The region is estimated to have lost 37,900 jobs between February 2008 and February 2009. This is a contraction of 2.9 percent.

Early in the downturn, the losses first showed up in the sectors with the most exposure to the housing bubble: construction, finance, and retail. By now, however, job losses are quite a bit more widespread. This is evident in the following graph, which shows the year-over-year change in employment for the three most bubble-exposed sectors, the remainder of the economy, and all sectors in total:

You can see that the green “everything else” line managed to stay positive until late last year, but that it has broken down dramatically since then as job loss has impacted almost all sectors.

Here’s another way to look at the same data. The non-bubble sectors are again represented by the green bar, which had been offsetting the losses in the bubble-beneficiary sectors until quite recently:

This next graph shows year-over-year job growth for individual sectors. Only the “health and education” supersector squeaked by with a gain:

And finally, here is an update of the graph comparing unemployment now and during the past two recessions:

At 8.9 percent, February’s unemployment rate has now blown past the worst of 1990s downturn.


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