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The Cost Of Attracting Companies To San Diego

Evening Edition

Aired 3/4/14 on KPBS Midday Edition.

GUESTS:

Erik Bruvold, National University System Institute for Policy Research

Murtaza Baxamusa, Secretary-Treasurer, Middle Class Taxpayers Association, San Diego

Transcript

San Diego County officials say the local job market continues to improve, but it hasn't been helped by local companies' recent announcements of layoffs and transfers.

In San Diego, Cox Communications is laying off 500 employees, and Sony is cutting 400 jobs. Perhaps the most troubling is that San Diego-based Websense is moving to Texas and taking 470 jobs from our region.

Mass layoffs can be painful for employees and communities, but do these cuts also indicate some troubles ahead for the San Diego economy?

According to Marney Cox, the senior economist at the San Diego Association of Governments, the job losses don't reflect the reality of the local job market. Cox said the region's job market continues to gain strength.

"And you can see that in our unemployment rate," he said. "We're certainly generating more jobs."

Cox said the unemployment rate hovered above the U.S. unemployment rate for 48 months in a row after the great recession. It is now finally back below the national average, he said.

It is also important to understand the context surrounding the job cut announcements.

Sony and Cox Communications are cutting jobs because those companies are struggling in very competitive industries.

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