In keeping with the national trend of recession, San Diego County’s job outlook isn’t exactly as shiny as a new catamaran. However, as University of San Diego economics professor Alan Gin recently told the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club, San Diego is no longer shedding jobs at a record pace. As the La Mesa Patch reports, even a net gain of 100 jobs from November 2009 to November 2010 can be viewed as good news.
San Diego’s economic outlook in a holding pattern
Professsor Gin, a respected economic forecaster, says that San Diego’s economic outlook is no longer in free fall. In his PowerPoint presentation to the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club audience, Gin predicted that the national job report for December – which will be released Friday – should feature a “really good number” that will in turn bode well for San Diego’s economic recovery.
Referring to his most recent monthly “index of leading economic indicators,” Alan Gin predicted that San Diego home prices would increase by 5 percent to 7 percent this year. In addition, a net gain of 1,000 to 1,500 jobs is on Gin’s radar for 2011. As the city has suffered through three straight years of job shedding – 70,000 jobs were eliminated in 2009 alone – an increase of this magnitude would be precious, indeed.
San Diego job fields to watch in 2011
According to Gin, health care, admin-support and hospitality are San Diego County job fields that will see the most growth in 2011. Yet it is defense/Homeland Security, biotech, communications and green technology businesses that are expected to be the driving forces of the area’s economy. One such green tech company in San Diego that Gin named was EcoATM, a kiosk-based business where consumers can recycle old cell phones for store vouchers.
Reach for your gin, it’s a lackluster GDP forecast
Significant growth in San Diego’s gross domestic product would be a welcome sign of high net job growth, but San Diego isn’t quite there, said Gin. He projected 3- to 3.5-percent growth for 2011, which is hardly enough to allow for job growth. Yet San Diego is no longer spiraling toward even higher unemployment and lower consumer confidence, complete with a decline in spending, investing, hiring and payday lending.
“At this point, we’ve flattened out,” said Gin.