Let’s take a slightly different look at the construction, finance/real estate, and retail job sectors. I have long highlighted these three industries in my analysis because they were directly involved in the housing bubble, benefitting from the respective frenzies for building homes, lending funds, selling homes, and spending all the money that issued forth from the regional home equity ATM.

Sunday’s chart on year-over-year employment declines shows that in the year leading to September, more jobs were lost outside the three housing bubble beneficiary sectors than within them. But over the course of the real estate bust, it is the housing-related industries that have take taken the big hit.

The accompanying chart displays the various job sectors’ changes, in percentage terms, over the three years leading up to last month. This time period begins before the start of the nationwide recession, which officially commenced in December 2007, but after the air had started to leak from the housing bubble.

The cumuluative losses over this time period were far worse for the housing beneficiary sectors than for the economy at large. Retail was down over 9 percent, finance declined by over 11 percent, and construction shrank by a brutal 30 percent. This compares to a decline in all other sectors of the economy of a little over 1 percent for that three-year period.

In job terms instead of percent terms, retail lost 13,900 jobs, finance lost 9,500 jobs, and construction dropped 27,900 jobs. This is a total of 51,300 jobs shed in these three sectors, compared to 13,400 jobs lost in the rest of the economy over that same period. The housing bubble beneficiary sectors have accounted for 79 percent of all San Diego jobs lost over the past three years.


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