We have entered the time of year when employment growth traditionally picks up the pace.  Per the latest estimates from the Employment Development Department, that’s exactly what happened last month:

Even after accounting for seasonal effects, October’s job growth was faster than the trend that had been in place for most of the year to date.  (Note also that September’s employment estimate was revised upward).

On a year-over-year basis, the housing bubble sectors (construction, retail, and finance/real estate) grew slightly and government employment shrank slightly, with the two offsetting each other exactly.  So the non-bubble private sector accounted for all of the net job growth, as has been the case during the job recovery to date.

Some specific year-over-year numbers: government shrank by .3 percent or 700 jobs, the housing bubble sectors grew by .3 percent or 700 jobs, and the non-bubble private sector grew by a robust 3.2 percent or 24,000 jobs.  In total, San Diego employment grew by 24,000 jobs or 2.0 percent.

This longer term chart of seasonally-adjusted data shows that while the job recovery has strengthened of late, local employment is still well below its peak.

To put some numbers on that, employment is still 5.1 percent below its mid-2007 peak despite having grown by 3.0 percent since the late-2009 trough.  However, most of that growth has happened in the past year, as the 2.0 percent year-over-year rate would indicate. 

Employment tends to be a lagging indicator of economic conditions, so this job growth doesn’t really tell us anything about what will happen next in the economy.  But we can take comfort in the fact that San Diego’s job recovery has not only remained intact, but has strengthened of late.

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

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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