We haven’t checked in on the household job survey in a while.  This set of employment data is distinct from the “establishment survey” I usually cite in a couple of ways.  The household survey is conducted by polling — as the name would suggest — households about their employment status, while the the establishment survey polls businesses.  The effect of this difference is that the household survey measures employment among people who live in San Diego (regardless of where they are employed) and the establishment survey gauges employment at San Diego businesses (regardless of where those businesses’ employees live).  The second big difference is that the household survey counts self-employed people, while the establishment survey does not.

So each survey provides a different slant on local employment, and divergences between the two data sets can sometimes provide insights.  I wrote about one such divergence late last year, when the establishment survey started to look stronger than the household survey.

These days, there is one difference between the surveys: household employment actually managed to grow on a year-over-year basis starting in May, a feat not yet achieved by establishment employment:

However, the above chart of year-over-year changes shows that the two data sets have been trending in the same direction for some time.  

The next chart shows total employment per the household survey:

Similar to the establishment survey, the household survey indicates a steady rise in employment earlier in the year followed by a recent decline.  Weakness in household employment has actually been present for a few months now — another sign that San Diego’s anemic job rebound is faltering.

Please contact Rich Toscano at rtoscano@pcasd.com.

Rich Toscano

Rich Toscano has been observing the housing market for Voice of San Diego, with the occasional prolonged absence, since 2006. Follow him on Twitter at...

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