Unemployment rate in San Diego County continues its climb

During March San Diego’s unadjusted unemployment rate crept upward to 11.1% from the revised February rate of 10.7%. The unemployment rate increased despite a 5,000-job increase during the month because civilian employment increased by 6,200 and the number of unemployed increased by 5,600 persons. The rate is one and nine-tenths below the state-wide rate of 13.0% and nine-tenths of a percent above the national rate of 10.2%. The local rate is two percent above the 9.0% rate of March 2009. Mono County had the lowest rate at 8.1% followed by Marin County at 8.8%, the only two counties in the state with a rate below nine percent. Fourteen counties, down from eighteen counties of the prior month, had rates between 9 and 12 percent; twenty five counties, up from twenty three of the prior month, had rates between 12 and 18 percent; and seventeen counties continue with rates above 18 percent with Imperial County at 27.0% and Colusa County at 26.0% the two highest rates in the state. (EDD Monthly Press Release, Apr. 16, 2010)

USD’s local Index of Leading Economic Indicators jumped a full percent upward in March marking the twelfth consecutive increase. Leading the way to the upside were strong moves in local stock prices and the outlook for the national economy. Building permits and help wanted advertising increased and initial claims for unemployment dropped, which is a positive indicator. The lone negative component was a slight decrease in local consumer confidence. Though the local economy is slowly showing signs of life, Alan Gin, author of the Index, has not changed his forecast calling for few new jobs to be created during the year and unemployment to remain high through year’s end. (University of San Diego Release, Apr. 28. 2010)

According to a report by National University System Institute for Policy Research, golf-related activities in San Diego County generated more than $2.6 billion in revenues and accounted for approximately 26,900 jobs in 2008. Average income for golf-related jobs in the county was $39,700. The local golf industry was divided into five segments for the study: 1) golf equipment and related manufacturing, 2) operations of courses and driving ranges, 3) golf-related travel, tournaments, and charitable giving, 4) merchandising and retailing, and 5) miscellaneous services i.e., instruction, consulting, management, rental services. The $2.6 billion generated is more revenue than that generated by the local legal services sector ($2.3 billion), aerospace ($1.8 billion), agriculture ($1.6 billion), or the software industry ($1.6 billion). According to the study, about $400 million is generated from San Diego’s 90 courses. But by far the biggest revenue generator is golf manufacturing. Thirty- two golf equipment and related manufacturers employ more than 5,100 workers and generate $1.85 billion in revenues; another 43 wholesalers of equipment that employ 300 workers that have sales of $42 million.

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