San Diego unemployment rate rises

While government jobs fall, leisure and hospitality gigs jump

The servitude sector got a bump last month.
  • The servitude sector got a bump last month.

The San Diego County unemployment rate rose to 5.4 percent in July, up from a revised 5.0 percent in June. The county lost 1900 jobs in the month, according to the California Employment Development Department.

Government jobs dropped by 12,200 in the month. Local government education dropped by 9300 jobs; that was a seasonal decrease. Educational services dropped by 2000 jobs.

The big gainer in the private sector was leisure and hospitality jobs, up 5300.

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Supposedly mid Sept is when QCOM starts laying off en masse. Maybe 2k or so in SD?

ImJustABill: Qualcomm has 15,000 employees (not all full-time) in San Diego. If San Diego got off with only 2000 layoffs, it would be a victory. I am expecting the announcement in mid-September, but Qualcomm hasn't affirmed that. Best, Don Bauder

If the trend continues San Diego will be a two class society of working class and well-to-do and no middle class to speak of. Those who work hard but get low wages and minimal benefits will have to move elsewhere or starve. Without a middle class San Diego will suffer.

AlexClarke: If San Diego drifts toward a two-class society -- superrich and everybody else -- it will be going the same direction as American society. That is precisely what is happening all around the U.S.

From an economic perspective, the disappearance of the middle class could be a nightmare. Consumption is 71 percent of our economy. If the middle class lacks the funds to consume, we are in deep trouble. Best, Don Bauder

As usual, we add jobs on the low end of the wage spectrum. When Qualcomm axe falls, watch out. The result will be similar to what happened when General Dynamics pulled out of San Diego in the late 80's and early 90's.

Ex-Qualcomm employees will flood the job market. Housing prices may go down if there are enough distress sales. The remaining employers in San Diego will be inundated with applicants. A lot of good engineers will have no choice but to leave San Diego to get a job.

If you want to stay in San Diego, It would be very prudent to have a couple of years savings in the bank, as it could take that amount of time for the engineering job market to recover. Just keep your skills up to date and work on open source projects so that you remain employable.

hwstar: I have done some work on that horrid early 1990s General Dynamics departure period, comparing it with the upcoming Qualcomm layoffs. Even though Qualcomm has 15,000 employees in San Diego, I do not think the ripple effect will be nearly as bad. But it won't be pleasant. Best, Don Bauder

When demand for (say, for water?) resources drives prices into the stratosphere, the poor and the middle class will have to seek hand-outs elsewhere. Those retained as serfants will have to exist on bread and urine. As California slides into the sea of debt, the S-wave will envelop the world.

For the basics and the recent history underlying this phenomenon, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3aJxy9tA-w

Twister: The New York Times has had some interesting pieces on the California drought. One discussed a consensus of climatologists that climate change has worsened the possible effects of the California drought. Best, Don Bauder

Human hubris is a pistol with a U-shaped barrel.

Twister: Hubris can definitely come back to spray a bullet in one's face. Best, Don Bauder

Why no contingency plans?

Can't "we" project the consequences of, for example, what happens if the El Niño doesn’t materialize or if Mexico and parts east get all the rain?

What happens if an El Niño doesn’t form and we get another “drought” year?

A “normal” year?

And, in each case, what are the certain, most likely, and least likely consequences to the California economy?

Twister: Unfortunately, I think it is quite possible that 50 years from now, Californians will look back and realize that the 20th century, on which U.S. water infrastructure was constructed, was aberrationally wet. This would mean that the California economy will take a big hit, as out-migration burgeons.

Even if a good-sized El Nino hits San Diego, the drought will not be over. However, the best may happen: the drought could end. We just don't know. Best, Don Bauder

Re: Don Bauder Aug. 23, 2015 @ 8:46 a.m.

Don, I realize that this "thread is dead," but it is a good example of how quickly burnout can set in. Politicians use this well-known phenomenon to their advantage--they can wear us out.

You are so right: "We just don't know."

And why don't we know?

Because "they" won't tell us. "They" don't want us to panic. "They" believe that "conservation" will solve the problem.

We need a major study that quantifies the relevant elements in sufficient detail for replication and demonstration by both "them" and their critics.

At minimum, such a report should include the actual capacity of the water storage system, including groundwater, and a sophisticated input-output diagram that anyone can understand. There are a number of elements that are avoided when the "experts" "testify" (of COURSE they aren't under oath!) before the public. Evaporation from surface waters. The actual reduction of evaporation by million of dollars of plastic balls that are claimed to reduce evaporation, the the theoretical foundation for their function--and how the two compare. (I suspect that evaporation might be higher with the balls, but can't find any real evidence or sound theory either way--my theory is that the effective surface area of the water exposed to the forces that induce evaporation will be increased, not decreased. "They" might be right about a reduction of algal blooms [eutrophication], but as they are driven primarily by nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen, I harbor some doubts about that too.)

More later . . . perhaps.

Twister: Yes, we "just don't know" how long the drought will last. I believe that societies in the U.S. West should prepare for the worst -- spend money on water infrastructure as if the drought will last 50 years. It is the conservative and intelligent thing to do.

We should do it for the sake of future generations. But greed gets in the way of that. Best, Don Bauder

It's kinda like what politicians say after every big fire--"We didn't expect this." Or "Unprecedented." Well, the fires are not unprecedented, and ignitions tend to go up with population and the length of the dry period, etc., but big fires are predictable. How do they get away with making such statements? People's minds are scattered by fear.

When the water is essentially gone, "they" will say the same thing--"We didn't see this coming." That will either be a lie too, or a sign of incompetence. I frankly don't know which. I don't have the time and resources it will take to get the information together, but a group of students could do it. It's not that it is difficult, it just takes hours and hours.

I would go short on California. The "conservation" "measures" are far too little far too late.

Twister: The classic line was that spewed by George W. Bush after 9/11. He warned that Americans should be diligent, alert, conservative. Then he told us not to stop spending on goods and services. Best, Don Bauder

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