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Employment at San Diego businesses dropped on a year-over-year basis, according to the latest estimates from the EDD.  But the trend we’ve seen in recent months of consecutively smaller annual job declines strengthened once again.

According to the estimates, San Diego firms shed 43,300 jobs between November 2008 and November 2009, a decline of 3.3 percent.  That is a serious decline, but the accompanying graph shows that it is quite a bit better than the annualized low in July, which registered a loss of 57,300 jobs or 4.4 percent from the prior year.  The graph also shows that the year-over-year numbers have steadily improved since that time.

Employment was up by .4 percent between October and November.  A November increase is actually typical as certain businesses gear up for the holiday rush.  Monthly employment increased in November by .8 percent in 2006 and .5 percent in 2007.  In 2008, however, things were so bad that the seasonal trend was bucked and employment actually declined by .3 percent for the month.  So while this wasn’t a particularly strong November, the fact that jobs are actually being added makes it clear that the employment climate is a lot better today than it was a year ago.  (Not that the bar is very high).

I’ve been writing of late of the difference between employment at San Diego firms and employment of San Diego citizens.  To be clear, this survey concerns employment at San Diego businesses regardless of where the employees in question live.  As I described last week, I suspect that this survey (the “establishment survey”) is providing the more up-to-date picture of what’s happening in the job market.  And in recent months, that picture is one of improvement.

— RICH TOSCANO

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