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Daily Business Report — March 11, 2010

San Diego Jobless Rate Rises In January

Wage and salary employment down 17,700 jobs over the month and 50,500 over the year

The unemployment rate in the San Diego County was 11.0 percent in January, up from a revised 10.3 percent in December 2009, and above the year-ago estimate of 8.4 percent, the state Employment Development Department reported. California’s unemployment rate for the same period was 13.2 percent. The national jobless rate was 10.6 percent.

Month-To-Month

Between December 2009 and January 2010, total nonfarm employment declined by 17,400 and settled at 1,201,400 jobs. Agricultural employment decreased by 300 jobs, or 3.5 percent.

• Five nonfarm industry sectors contracted by 600 jobs or less, including construction (down 600), manufacturing (down 500), financial activities (down 300), and information (down 200). Mining and logging recorded no change in employment levels over the month.

• Leisure and hospitality receded by 4,000 jobs. More than 80 percent of the job loss in this sector occurred in accommodation and food services (down 3,300), primarily from food services and drinking places (down 2,900). Arts, entertainment and recreation decreased by 700 jobs.

• Trade, transportation and utilities reported the greatest month-over decline, down 4,700 jobs. Retail trade (down 4,300), accounted for more than 90 percent of the seasonal job loss in this sector, mainly from general merchandise stores (down 2,400) and clothing and clothing accessories stores (down 1,400).

Year-To-Year

Between January 2009 and January 2010, total nonfarm employment declined by 50,300 jobs, or 4.0 percent. Agricultural employment decreased by 200 jobs, or 2.4 percent.

• Educational and health services (up 2,300), was the only sector out of 12 industries to add jobs over the year. Health care and social assistance (up 2,000), contributed to roughly 87 percent of the job growth in this sector. Educational services added 300 jobs.

• Trade, transportation and utilities declined by 10,100 jobs. Retail trade decreased by 6,300 jobs, mostly from motor vehicle and parts dealers (down 1,500). Wholesale trade contracted by 2,200, while transportation, warehousing and utilities receded by 1,600 jobs.

• Professional and business services posted the greatest year-over decline, down 10,500 jobs. Professional, scientific and technical services (down 5,600) and administrative and support and waste services (down 4,300) accounted for more than 90 percent of the job loss in this sector. Management of companies and enterprises decreased by 600 jobs.

Law Firm Takes 1-Plus Floors in Merrill Lynch Tower

The law firm of Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith has signed a lease for 29,940 square feet of office space in the Merrill Lynch Tower at 701 B St. in Downtown San Diego. The firm will occupy the entire 19th floor and a portion of the 18th floor of the building. The company plans to relocate from its current office at 550 Corporate Center in the second quarter of 2010. The value of the 10-year lease was not disclosed. Clayton S. Hovivian of Grubb & Ellis Co. represented the law firm in the lease transaction. Matthew T. Carlson and J.P. Huntington of Cushman & Wakefield represented the lessor, TRIZEC 701 B Street.

Rady School Prof to Receive $530,000 in Research Funding

Professor Terry August of The Rady School of Management at UCSD will receive $530,000 in research funding for being selected as the recipient of a 2010 National Science Foundation CAREER award to analyze the relationship between government policy, economic incentives and software security. The goal is to gain new insight into how the efforts of firms, consumers and government can be coordinated to improve software security. August joined the Rady School as assistant professor of innovation, technology and operations in 2007. He has a Ph.D. in operations, information and technology from Stanford University.

August said that security risk associated with software continues to be an extremely costly problem for society, and is essentially a socio-technical one. By developing a better understanding of how to provide the right economic incentives for software users and providers, significant progress can be made toward reducing the severity of the problem, he said. For more information on his work, visit http://rady.ucsd.edu/faculty/directory/august/.

ElderHelp Opens Third HomeShare Office

ElderHelp has opened a HomeShare office in Clairemont, its third in the San Diego area. Other offices are in North Park and Poway. The office will assist in matching pre-screened individuals seeking quality and affordable housing with San Diego area seniors. “With the current economic recession, this much-needed service has been a blessing to many San Diego individuals,” said Leane Marchese, executive director for ElderHelp. “The opening of our Claremont satellite office allows us to better service people who need a roommate to help pay their mortgage or to help around the house by grocery shopping or housekeeping. The program is especially beneficial to seniors who live alone and just want companionship.”

HomeShare is an affordable housing program that assesses the needs of two vulnerable populations and thoroughly screens those who wish to move into the home of a senior. The program then recommends matches, helps the parties set up rules and guidelines to establish mutual understandings, mediates conflicts and monitors the match over time.

Church Construction to be Finished by Easter

Domusstudio Architecture says the two San Diego-area worship facilities it designed that are under construction in Rancho Bernardo and Rancho Santa will be completed in time for Easter. The Life Bridge Church in Rancho Bernardo, heavily damaged by the wildfires of 2007, will get a newly rebuilt sanctuary, patio area and lobby reception area with coffee service and lounge seating. The church was formerly known as Rancho Bernardo Baptist Church. The remodeled Village Community Church in Rancho Santa Fe features a two-story, 25,420-square-foot main sanctuary and administration building. With seating for 592, the new main worship space offers improved community worship, visibility and audibility from all areas of the sanctuary. The existing sanctuary has been converted to a 120-seat chapel, which also is expected to be ready for prayer and worship as soon as April 4.

SAIC Receives Navy Contract Valued at $625 Million

Science Applications International Corp. has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Navy’s Program Executive Office (PEO) to develop Department of Defense command and control software, as well as modification and enhancement of existing systems. The contract has a three-year base period of performance, two one-year options and a ceiling value of more than $625 million for SAIC. Work will be performed primarily at PEO C4I’s headquarters in San Diego.

Dynamik Wins $22.9 Million Army Contract

Dynamik Inc. in San Diego won a $22,913.38 federal contract from the U.S. Army Contracting Command, White Sands Missile Range, N.M., for the rental of heavy equipment. (Source: Targeted News Service)

SMR Consulting Adds Staff

SMR Consulting Group Inc., a San Diego based structural engineering firm, has added three new staff members. Ahmad Zadeh, a registered civil engineer with  24 years of experience, has been named project engineer. His experience includes multiple commercial, residential, and industrial projects, with a decade of supervisory experience designing concrete and post-tensioned slabs, as well as wood and cold-form steel structures. Darin Paris, a registered structural engineer with seven years of experience, also was named a project engineer. His expertise is in structural design of multiple project types, plan checks, seismic upgrades, forensic investigations and bridge retrofits. Joan Mumford has joined the firm as director of business development. She has more than 20 years of marketing and business development experience in the design industry and specializes in strategic planning, process design and enhancing firm visibility. The company is headed by Mehdi Rashti, president.

Colliers International Names Senior Director

Colliers International has named Ron Miller as senior director of tenant advisory services, focusing on tenant representation in the San Diego region. Miller was affiliated with Cushman & Wakefield as a senior director following the 2008 merger with Burnham Real Estate, where he was a principal and broker, and most recently with CresaPartners as a principal.  Miller has 25 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry. He holds a degree in business administration from USD.

Credit Union Hosts Used Car Sale on Saturday

San Diego County Credit Union will host a used car sale in the parking lot of its administrative building at 6545 Sequence Drive in Mira Mesa on Saturday (March 13) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The public is invited to attend. About 300 late-model, low-mileage cars, trucks and SUVs will be available for sale from the Penske Automotive Group Inc., which operates 13 dealerships in Southern California. Auto loans from SDCCU, including some loans with 100 percent financing, will be available, along with a three-month or 3,000-mile limited drive-train warranty. Buyers are encouraged to bring a current driver license, proof of insurance and current pay-stub. For more information, call (877) 732-2848, or visit www.sdccu.com

Financial Advisers Honored

The Rancho Santa Fe-based Ranch Investment Consulting Group of  Wells Fargo Advisors has been presented a 2010 FIVE STAR Wealth ManagerSM Award for high performance. The consulting group’s members are Jeffrey Tadder, Rainey Hanley, Bob Gilbert, Van Schroeder and Gregory M. Hansen. “Ranch Investment Consulting Group only recently opened our doors in the Rancho Santa Fe community in August of last year,” said Tadder. “We are very honored to be recognized with such a prestigious honor for our work. Our unique business model allows us to create meaningful, sustainable and lasting wealth management relationships with our clients.”

SDSU Offers Green Certification Course

SDSU’s College of Extended Studies will offer a Green Home Performance Contractor certification program May 1 through June 13 and July 10 through Aug. 22. It will be the first green Building Performance Institute certification course offered in Southern California in partnership with Greener Dawn Inc.

“This alliance will help pave the way for universities nationwide to offer BPI certification classes through SDSU’s online platform,” said Courtland Weisleder, president of Greener Dawn. In addition to online instruction, there will be field training to provide hands-on learning so that students can practice techniques they learn in the classroom. The training will cover the practical and theoretical skills necessary to compete in the performance-based residential upgrade market. For more information, call (619) 265-7378 or visit neverstoplearning.net.

Business Datebook

March 11

PANEL TALK: Social media strategies to increase sales and raise brand awareness will be discussed during the Sales & Marketing Council’s “Social Media 101” event. 7:15 to 9 a.m., Building Industry Association offices, 9201 Spectrum Center Blvd., San Diego. $30 for BIA members. $60 for nonmembers. To register, call (858) 450-1221, Ext. 101. Panelists: Harley Orion of Orion Social; Jan Percival of Scribe Communications; Maria Swanson of Weston Mason Marketing.

March 12

CAREER FAIR: More than 15 employers will be seeking workers in a variety of positions from 1 to 4 p.m. at the South Metro Career Center, 4389 Imperial Ave., San Diego. Positions available include administrative assistants, assistant engineers, certified nurse assistants, cooks, electronic technicians, graphic designers, machinists, research technicians, security guards and maintenance mechanics, among others. To register, call (619) 462-7878.

March 17

BREAKFAST MEETING: Influenza experts will discuss lessons learned from the swine flu pandemic at BIOCOM’s monthly breakfast meeting, 7 to 9 a.m., Hyatt Regency La Jolla, 3777 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego. Speakers: Brian Plew, head of public health, Life Technologies; Larry R. Smith, v.p., vaccine research, Vical Inc.; John D. Tamerius, senior v.p., clinical and regulatory affairs, Quidel Corp. For information, call Valerie Sanderson (858) 455-0300, Ext. 112.

MEETING: The March meeting of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) San Diego will feature Jo Dee Jacob presenting “Building and Nurturing a Winning Team.” 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Sheraton La Jolla, 3299 Holiday Court, La Jolla. Jacob is CEO of The San Diego-Imperial Council of Girl Scouts. $35 for members, $45 for nonmembers. For more information, visit nawbo-sd.org.

LUNCHEON: “Retrofitting Buildings Green” is topic for presenters Sarah Friedman, Southern California sustainability director for Jones Lang LaSalle, and Dawn McFadyen, associate partner with Syska Hennessey Group, at Urban Land Institute luncheon. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 10300 Campus Point Drive, first floor conference room. Members $20, nonmembers $40. To register, call (800) 321-5011 or visit ulisd.org.

March 18

MEETING: Web content strategist Shelly Bowen, principal of Pybop LLC, will speak on “Virtual Story Telling: How to Grow Your Business with Social Media,” at the meeting of the San Diego Professional Editors Network (SD/PEN), 6:30 p.m., Joyce Beers Community Center, Uptown Shopping Center, Hillcrest. Free and open to nonmembers. For more information, call (619) 281-6951 or visit sdpen.com. $45 for BIOCOM members, $90 for nonmembers.

March 23

LUNCHEON: Asian Business Association holds its March Rice Club Luncheon with guest speaker Ron Roberts, member of the county Board of Supervisors. noon to 1:30 p.m., San Diego Hall of Champions, Balboa park. Cost is $25 for ABA members, $30 for nonmembers, $35 at the door. To reserve, visit abasd.org.

March 24

EMPLOYMENT LAW: Brown Law Group will present an update on 2010 employment law, including latest court decisions, legislative amendments and proposed bills employers must be aware of to properly manage their businesses. 7:45 to 9 a.m., University Club, 750 B St., Downtown San Diego. To reserve space, e-mail Valeina: jack@brownlawgroup.com. Or call (619) 330-1700.

The Daily Business Report is produced by REP Publishing Inc., publisher of San Diego Metropolitan Magazine, the North Park News, Kensington News and the West Coast Craftsman. (619) 906-4104.

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We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

You can email Probolsky Research directly with your ideas: info@probolskyresearch.com