The California Employment Development Department’s latest estimates indicate that, after adjusting for seasonal factors, San Diego employment declined slightly in April.  The EDD also revised the estimate of March employment downward.

Between the March revision and the April decline, there has been effectively no job growth since February:

The non-seasonally-adjusted job numbers have risen somewhat, but that’s more indicative of typical seasonal changes than of an underlying trend upward:

Still, overall employment was 1.1 percent higher than in April 2010:

The housing bubble-related sectors (construction, finance, and retail) were still shrinking on a year-over-year basis, down .9 percent.  Government employment was flat, and the non-bubble private sector once again did the heavy lifting, rising by 2.1 percent from the prior year.

I created this next chart to help portray the severity of the job losses during the recession and how little progress has been made in recovering.  The graph shows seasonally adjusted employment going all the way back to the year 2000:

While San Diego employment bottomed out in late-2009 and has been rising since then, it has done so very slowly — especially considering that employment has historically tended to bounce back quickly back after such deep declines.  As of April 2011, we were still at a level of employment that, before the recession, was last seen in September 2002.

So there is a job recovery underway in the sense that employment stopped declining a while back and has been trending upward ever since.  But the recovery is exceedingly weak, given the severity of the downturn, and there is a very long way to go before the prior employment peak is surpassed.

Rich Toscano is a financial advisor with Pacific Capital Associates*.  He can be contacted at

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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