Readers may note that when discussing job data, I always refer to the Employment Development Department’s “estimates.”  The monthly job numbers everyone discusses are very much estimates, and are subject to frequent and sometimes large revisions.  (Data nerds might be interested in my examination of one particularly huge downward revision back at the start of the recession). 

The unusually robust seasonally-adjusted monthly job increase reported for July has, alas, been revised downward.  The EDD apparently overstated July employment growth by nearly 5,000 jobs.  However, local employment did still increase very slightly in July, when adjusted for seasonal factors.  And according to the latest estimates, it increased in August too.

Let’s start with a look at the seasonally adjusted series, which gives the better idea of underlying job market strength.  The trend here is clearly one of fairly steady, if modest, growth:

Here’s a look at the not-seasonally-adjusted figures.  The annual July employment dropoff renders this one a little less useful at this time of year, but there you have it:

Below is a chart of year-over-year employment changes in government, the “housing bubble sectors” (finance, construction, and retail), and the non-bubble private sector.  Government employment has fallen by 5,600 jobs (2.6 percent) year-over-year, more than it ever did at any time during the private sector bloodshed of the recent recession.  Bubble industries were very slightly negative, while the stalwart non-bubble private sector grew by 19,300 jobs (also 2.6 percent).  Total employment increased by 13,500 jobs or 1.1 percent.

I’ll close with the usual decade-plus view of San Diego employment:

The number of people with jobs in San Diego County has risen 2.2 percent since the September 2009 trough, but is still 5.7 percent below the peak achieved in July 2007.

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

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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