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The February employment estimates are out and the downward revision to January employment that I anticipated did not come to pass.  In fact, the January numbers were revised slightly upward.

I described my befuddlement with the January employment data in detail earlier this month, but this paragraph from that entry sums it up in brief:

All this data suggests a very rapid improvement in job conditions in January.  But while it’s possible that the situation could improve that fast, it seems very unlikely that it would do so in a single month after the EDD had just realized that their prior months’ estimates were far too optimistic.

Hence my prediction that the January numbers would themselves be revised a downward.  That didn’t happen.  So the mystery of the apparently huge single-month improvement in San Diego’s employment situation (just one month after big downward revisions) remains.

February employment was estimated to have grown slightly from January, extending the streak in shrinking year-over-year job losses.  The sharp decrease in annual employment shrinkage can be seen in the accompanying graph.  February’s year-over-year decline was estimated at 44,600 jobs, versus January’s 49,000 an annual low of 83,300 jobs lost between July 2008 and July 2009.

— RICH TOSCANO

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