San Diego County employment rose slightly between October and November, according to the Employment Development Department’s estimates.  The bulk of that increase, however, was owed to seasonal retail hiring.

The effects of the holidays can be seen in the following two graphs.  The first does not adjust for seasonality, and shows an increase of 3,700 jobs:

The second adjusts the data to account for typical for seasonal effects.  Once this modification is made, the job market looks quite a bit more stagnant.  In fact, the seasonally-adjusted number actually fell by 300 jobs:

One bright spot (though not a terribly meaningful one, unfortunately) is that the year-over-year change in total employment finally turned positive for the first time since April 2008. 

Less impressive is the fact that November employment crushed its year-ago level by a full .1 percent.  It’s nice that things are no longer getting worse on a year-over-year basis, but we have yet to see them get demonstrably better.

— RICH TOSCANO

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