Dissecting the Job Market

Submitted by Rich Toscano on September 4, 2006 - 11:44am

A longstanding premise of mine has gone as follows: to argue that housing will continue to flourish because of San Diego's strong economy is circular reasoning, because in reality the economy owes much of its purported strength to the housing boom.

I thought it would be fun (that's right, fun) to chart out some of the characteristics of San Diego's job market during the big housing boom. I have designated as my starting point the year 2000, chosen primarily and somewhat arbitrarily as a "neutral" year for residential real estate. The depths of the mid-90s housing bust were well behind us, housing mania was still a couple of years away, and home valuations were in the middle of their historic range. San Diego's housing market was, in other words, neither too hot nor too cold. It was just right.

read more at voiceofsandiego.org

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Submitted by JES on September 4, 2006 - 5:12pm.


For 2005 and 2006 what are the top non-housing related jobs where you are seeing the most growth? It is clear from your chart that non-housing jobs started growing again in 2005, but I am wondering if these are high paying engineering jobs, low paying tourism positions, or something else?


Submitted by rankandfile on September 4, 2006 - 6:47pm.

I am curious as to how much higher these percentages would be if they factored in illegal immigrant workers in the construction industry. If illegal immigration in the construction industry is widespread in the Boston area, I shudder to think what it is like here in SoCal.


Submitted by powayseller on September 4, 2006 - 9:59pm.

I read in the UT today that 10% of employees in San Diego are illegal aliens. Most work in construction, but also in professional and business services and every other sector. Illegals have successfully integrated into every job sector; they are no longer agricultural migrants.

Submitted by sdduuuude on September 4, 2006 - 10:47pm.

I feel this analysis is missing a pie chart or a stacked barchart showing the total number of jobs in the 4 sectors in 2000 and in 2006, and the total number of jobs in the county. Because you show everything in terms of growth, I can't get my arms around these numbers as well as I usually can with a Rich article.

I mean, if the Houseing Beneficiary sectors start out as 1% of the total jobs, this isn't a very compelling story. If it starts out as 50% of jobs, it is more compelling.

Yes - I could estimate it from the graphs, but I know Rich has that little spreadsheet - it would only take him a few minutes and would really complete the story ...

Submitted by sdrealtor on September 5, 2006 - 11:18am.

What is missing for me is how the non-RE job growth compares to the past and to other areas of the country. We can all agree that there has been a boom in construction/RE employment. That aside how does the job creation look relative to the rest of the picture?

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