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Daily Business Report — Nov. 23, 2009

County Jobless Rate in October Rises to 10.5 Percent

Nonfarm employment up 8,100 jobs, but down 52,200 over the year

The unemployment rate in the San Diego County was 10.5 percent in October, an increase from a revised 10.4 percent in September and above the year-ago estimate of 6.7 percent, the state Employment Development Department reported. California’s jobless rate for the same period was 12.3 percent. The national unemployment rate was 9.5 percent.

Between September 2009 and October 2009, total nonfarm employment increased by 8,100 to reach 1,245,700 jobs. Agricultural employment declined by 200 jobs, or 1.8 percent.

• Government reported the greatest month-over gain, adding 9,300 jobs. Local government (up 5,400), contributed to more than half of the job gain in this industry, primarily from a seasonal advance in local government education (up 5,800). State government added 3,600, while federal government increased by 300 jobs.

• Professional and business services gained 2,000 jobs. Administrative and support and waste services increased by 1,100, followed by a gain of 900 jobs in professional, scientific and technical services. Management of companies and enterprises recorded no change in employment levels over the month.

• Leisure and hospitality posted the greatest month-over decline, down 3,600 jobs. Accommodation and food services decreased by 2,200 jobs, primarily from food services and drinking places (down 1,900). Arts, entertainment and recreation declined by 1,400 jobs. Between October 2008 and October 2009, total nonfarm employment decreased by 52,200 jobs, or 4 percent.

• Agricultural employment, up 100 jobs, is the only industry that posted a year-over gain. Two other sectors, including educational and health services and mining and logging, reported no change in employment levels over the year.

• Five industry sectors, including manufacturing (down 8,000), leisure and hospitality (down 8,600), construction (down 9,700), professional and business services (down 10,800), and trade, transportation and utilities (down 11,600), all declined by roughly 8,000 or more jobs over the year. Combined, these industry sectors accounted for more than 90 percent of the total nonfarm job loss.

• Trade, transportation, and utilities recorded the greatest year-over decrease, down 11,600 jobs. Retail trade (down 8,000), was responsible for roughly 69 percent of the job loss in this industry, mostly from motor vehicle and parts dealers (down 1,800). Wholesale trade receded by 2,300, while transportation, warehousing, and utilities contracted by 1,300 jobs.

Career Strategies Workshop Scheduled for Dec. 5

The University of Phoenix will host a free career strategies workshop on Dec. 5 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Kearny Mesa Learning Center at 3890 Murphy Canyon Road in San Diego. The workshop will engage participants in a personal assessment of their skills and characteristics and the creation of a personalized career action plan. All guests will receive a Career Management Workbook to guide them through the workshop and beyond, to implement their action plan. For information, call (858) 650-4655.

University of Phoenix faculty member Tony Vianna will facilitate the workshop. Vianna is the author of “Career Management and the Employee Portfolio Tool Kit, 2nd Edition” and co-author of “Leader Champions: Secrets of Success.” He has more than 30 years of human resources experience and is currently the head area chair for the John Sperling School of Business at the University of Phoenix.

Greatest Gadget Award Goes to EcoDog

EcoDog Inc. has won the Greatest Gadget Award from the CommNexus Gadget Fest 2009 for its FIDO Home Energy Watchdog System. Currently in pilot production and slated for launch later this year, the FIDO system is designed to give homeowners a comprehensive, room-by-room graphic overview of their energy use, complete with real-time utility charges and personalized saving tips based on individual usage patterns. Typical FIDO users can expect to save 15 to 25 percent on their home electric bills, and the system can also be used to identify ”energy hogs” in the home that may produce even greater savings, according to the company.

Ron Pitt, founder of EcoDog, demonstrated the FIDO Home Energy Watchdog system to a panel of judges. In a close race with Verizon Wireless’ new Droid phone, EcoDog’s FIDO system ultimately won the award based on a combination of the judges’ scores and audience enthusiasm for the products.

EcoDog’s FIDO Home Energy Watchdog system consists of PC software package along with hardware interface modules for the breaker panel and computer that provide data through existing home electrical wires. The system, eliminates the need for additional wiring. The PC interface module stores electric usage data for extended periods so users are not required to leave their computer running. Compatible with any standard electrical meter, FIDO will enable homeowners to achieve even greater savings as utilities roll out the next generation of Smart Meters with time-of-use surcharges, the company said.

CEO Tapped for UCSD Medical Center

Thomas E. Jackiewicz has been named CEO of the UCSD Medical Center, responsible for the management of the center, which comprises UCSD Medical Center-Hillcrest, Thornton Hospital, Moores UCSD Cancer Center, Shiley Eye Center and the Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center, scheduled for completion in 2011. Jackiewicz, 51, joined UCSD Health Sciences in 2001, most recently serving as associate vice chancellor and chief financial officer.  During his career, Jackiewicz served as associate vice chancellor and chief financial officer for health sciences at UCSD, chief operating officer of Columbia University Medical Center, senior associate chair for finance and administration at the Stanford University School of Medicine, director of finance and administration for Oregon Health Sciences University and director of business and financial operations at the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

SDG&E and San Diego Unified in Partnership

An innovative partnership between the San Diego Unified School District and San Diego Gas & Electric has reduced gas and electric bills by 20 percent for 2,719 San Diego families, with more to come, officials announced. Under the partnership, the school district is sharing its list

of families qualifying for the federal Free and Reduced Priced Lunch Program with the utility. Families whose children qualify for free

lunch usually also qualify for the California Alternative Rate for Energy (CARE) program. The program also helps the school district, since SDG&E provides a $15 per household payment for each new CARE program participants from the program. The first check from SDG&E to San Diego Unified, for $40,785, was presented at the Board of Education meeting on Nov. 17.

The CARE program offers income-qualified households a 20 percent discount on their energy bill. The first phase of the program resulted in 2,719 families signing up for the CARE program. At least two more groups of addresses will be forwarded to the utility over the coming months. For more information on the CARE program, contact SDG&E at (800) 644-6133.

Sughrue Mion Law Firm Adds Partner

Karen B. Dow has joined the intellectual property law firm of Sughrue Mion in its San Diego office. Dow has more than 20 years of patent experience in biotechnology and pharmaceutical issues including work as patent counsel for Eli Lilly and Co. and Triton Biosciences. Dow comes to Sughrue from the San Diego office of DLA Piper. She was previously a partner for 15 years with Townsend and Townsend and Crew where she resided in the Palo Alto office and served as partner-in-charge of the San Diego office. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University and her law degree from the Indiana University School of Law.

Valley View Casino Tops Off Hotel

Valley View Casino and general contractor Swinerton Builders celebrated the topping off of its hotel project, a milestone in the construction of the casino’s luxury boutique hotel scheduled to open in early 2011. Topping off means the last concrete was poured at the top deck. The Valley View Casino Hotel, designed by JMA Architects, will be a seven-story building featuring 108 rooms and suites, a scenic pool overlooking the Palomar mountain range and a 5,000-square-foot special events center.

UCSD Receives More Than $100 Million in Stimulus Funding

UCSD reported that it has now received more than $100 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds — with several proposals for additional support now being evaluated. Channeled through existing federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, the ARRA funds support research in medicine, biology, chemistry, oceanography, engineering and other fields. “This vital federal support for UCSD will help us deliver the benefits of our research from the campus to the community,” said Chancellor Marye Anne Fox. “Our goal is to produce a return on investment that’s even more impressive.”

One of the larger projects recently funded by ARRA is the pediatric imaging, neurocognition and genetics (PING) project. Thanks to a grant of $8,950,590 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health, researchers are using sophisticated gene-mapping tools and imaging technology to collect a wealth of data about brain development in children.  Faculty members from at least seven different university departments participate in the research.

NASSCO Lays Keel on Evergreen State

NASSCO has laid the keel of the fifth ship of its State-class product carriers. The ship will be named Evergreen State, the state nickname of Washington. The shipbuilder began constructing the ship last May. The ship will be double-hulled and have a cargo capacity of 331,000 barrels. It will be used in Jones Act service, carrying petroleum and chemical products between U.S. ports.  The shipyard anticipates delivering the vessel to American Petroleum Tankers LLC in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Heritage Canyon Point Condos Sell for $5.5 Million

The Heritage at Canyon Pointe Condominiums in Escondido has been sold for $5.5 million to an undisclosed buyer. The property, located at 495-505 San Pasqual Valley Road, consists of 51,471 rentable square feet, including 53 of the 116 total condominium units in the complex. The seller was the H.G. Fenton Co. Diane Miramontes, Darcy Miramontes, Kip Malo and Hunter Combs of Grubb & Ellis|BRE Commercial represented the seller and undisclosed buyer. Built in 1986, Heritage at Canyon Pointe includes a total of 16 buildings on 6.03 acres of land. Rhonda Bernardini of Stewart Title handled escrow while Frank Green, also with Stewart Title, served as title representative.

Federal Contract Awards

Science Applications International Corp., San Diego, won a $623,551.50 federal contract from the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island, Ill., for professional services.

Jones, Roach & Caringella Inc., San Diego, won an $85,500 federal contract from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation in Sacramento for the Red Bluff Pumping Plant appraisals under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

(Source: Targeted News Service)

The Daily Business Report

The Daily Business Report is a product of REP Publishing Inc., publisher of San Diego Metropolitan magazine and the North Park News. Our offices are in Cabrillo Plaza, 3990 Old Town Ave., Suite A-201, in Old Town. To reach editorial, call (619) 906-4104. For advertising, dial (619) 906-4105. The fax is (619) 906-4106. Send editorial material via e-mail to manny@sandiegometro.com. For advertising, send to cyndi@sandiegometro.com.

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