San Diego employment increased in May, according to the Employment Development Department’s latest batch of estimates. 

Let’s look first at the seasonally-adjusted figures, which give a better read on month-to-month changes.  They show that employment was estimated to have increased in May after a languid start to the year:

In this next graph, which shows job numbers without seasonal adjustment, growth is bolstered by the seasonal tendency for additional employment:

May 2011 employment was higher than both May 2010 and May 2009 — there’s still a way to go to get back to early-recession levels, however.

For the first time in an exceptionally long time, the housing bubble beneficiary sectors (construction, finance/real estate, and retail) posted a year-over-year gain.  The bubble sectors were up .4 percent (1,000 jobs) from a year ago, while the non-bubble private sector was up 1.9 percent (14,500 jobs) and government employment was down 1.8 percent (4,300 jobs).

For the year, overall employment was up .9 percent or 11,200 jobs.

So thanks largely to the non-bubble private sector, job growth has resumed its upward slog.  I’ll close with a long-term graph of seasonally-adjusted employment that sums up the situation well: San Diego employment is trending higher, but it is doing so slowly and remains far below peak levels.


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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