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Last week we looked at how San Diego’s various employment sectors fared during the year 2009.  Let’s now widen the view a bit and measure job losses (and gains, in a couple cases) for these same sectors since the start of the recession.

Conveniently, for the purpose of this analysis, the recession is designated to have officially begun in December 2007.  So we can compare San Diego employment on that date with that of December 2009 without having to worry about the seasonal issues that arise when comparing different calendar months.

The chart below shows the number of jobs lost or gained in San Diego’s major employment sectors as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Employment Development Department:

And here’s one showing the change in terms of percent of sector size rather than number of jobs:

The biggest gainer is the EDD’s “educational services” sector that, somewhat confusingly, doesn’t appear to include educators who work for the government.  This non-government education sector is actually quite small, accounting for about 2 percent of total San Diego employment.  Educators who are employed by the government fall into the “government” sector.  (At least that’s how it appears based on their rather confusing descriptions, and I haven’t gotten through to anyone at the EDD to clarify for me just yet).

To put some numbers on it: the non-government education sector accounted for 27,200 jobs as of December 2009 versus 28,200 San Diego educators employed by the state and 74,400 educators employed by local government.  State government-employed education jobs increased by .7 percent over this time period while local government-employed education jobs fell by 4.0 percent.  Bear that in mind when viewing the comparatively rip-roaring growth of the (unfortunately small) non-government education sector in the above chart.

Health care was the only other sector to experience growth since the recession began, increasing in size by 6.7 percent.

On the losing side, it’s no surprise that the housing-bubble beneficiary sectors I’ve often written of took some of the biggest hits.  Construction employment fell by 28.5 percent, retail by 14.9 percent, wholesale (which is naturally dependent on retail activity) by 12.7 percent, and finance and real estate by 12.0 percent.

The data described here only goes through December 2009.  Estimates of San Diego’s job situation as of February 2010 will be released later this week.

— RICH TOSCANO

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