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County Saw Modest Job Growth in 2010

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Aired 1/24/11

San Diego County gained more than 6,000 jobs in 2010. It was the first year since 2007 that the county added any jobs. The increase could bode well for a continuing recovery.

— Many of the 6,000 jobs San Diego County gained in 2010 came from professional services industries like administrative support and technology. Health and education also saw steady growth throughout the year.

Six thousand jobs may seem like a drop in the bucket for a county with more than 3 million residents. But, Lynn Reaser, chief economist at Point Loma Nazarene University, said San Diegans will start to see more signs of improvement this year.

“They are going to see some more jobs openings, they’re probably going to be able to upgrade their jobs in some categories and also, perhaps, see some raises and bonuses that have been deferred for some time,” she said. “2011 will not be an easy year for anyone, but it should look a lot better than the last two.”

Hiring for temporary jobs increased more than 14 percent last year, a trend economists expect to turn into permanent hiring.

“Companies have been reluctant to take on more hires because they were concerned about the sustainability of the expansion,” Reaser said. “I think the pendulum is beginning to swing. Consumer confidence is higher now and business confidence is up appreciably.”

The county’s unemployment rate dropped to 10.1 percent in December, it’s lowest level since May of last year.

Job growth may have been modest in 2010, but Reaser said 2011 could bring up to three times as many jobs to San Diego County – that would mean 18,000 new positions. She says to look for those positions to come from fields like education, health, science and technology.

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