Daily Business Report — April 19, 2013
San Diego County
Unemployment Rate Drops
Nonfarm employment up by 8,300 jobs over the month and up 32,600 jobs over the year
The unemployment rate in the San Diego County was 7.7 percent in March, down from a revised 8.0 percent in February and below the year-ago estimate of 9.3 percent, the state Employment Development Department reported today. California’s jobless rate for the same period was 9.4 percent and the nation’s was 7.6 percent.
Between February and March:
Total nonfarm employment increased from 1,266,800 to 1,275,100, a gain of 8,300 jobs. Agricultural employment gained 300 jobs, 3.2 percent.
• Leisure and hospitality reported the greatest month-over gain, adding 3,600 jobs. Accommodation and food services (up 2,600) accounted for more than 70 percent of the job growth in this sector, primarily from food services and drinking places (up 2,300). Arts, entertainment, and recreation gained 1,000 jobs.
• Four other nonfarm sectors also added jobs over the month. The most significant job increases came from educational and health services (up 2,800); government (up 2,100); and professional and business services (up 1,700).
• Four other industries recorded month-over job losses. Trade, transportation, and utilities (down 900) and manufacturing (down 800) were the most notable.
Between March 2012 and March 2013:
total nonfarm employment increased by 32,600 jobs, or 2.6 percent. Agricultural employment declined by 100 jobs.
• Professional and business services posted the greatest year-over change, adding 11,600 jobs. Administrative and support and waste services (up 6,100) contributed to more than half of the job growth in this sector, followed by professional, scientific and technical services (up 4,800). Management of companies and enterprises added 700 jobs.
• Two sectors recorded similar gains: Leisure and hospitality added 6,800 jobs, while educational and health services added 6,600 jobs.
• All nonfarm industries reported year-over employment growth except for mining and logging (employment remained flat). The most notable job increases came from trade, transportation, and utilities (up 2,200); construction (up 1,500); and government and other services (up 1,000 jobs each).
Group Plans to Sue City
to Make Terms of Labor
Deal on Convention Center
A group representing nonunion construction firms announced Thursday it will sue the city of San Diego in order to publicly unveil
terms of a deal with labor on the convention center expansion project, City News Service reports. The Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction says the city and project contractor Clark Construction have rebuffed efforts to release details of the agreement. “We’re going to get that union Project Labor Agreement, expose it to the public, and make every schemer involved with this union sweetheart deal accountable for breaking the law,” said Eric Christen, the executive director of the coalition. He contends the deal is a violation of Proposition A, which San Diegans passed last June to prevent the city from requiring project labor agreements for municipal construction.
At a news conference to announce the deal in November, backers of the project took pains to say the deal was not really a Project Labor Agreement. Lorena Gonzalez, CEO of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, said typical components of PLAs, like hiring practices and compensation, are being dealt with directly with the contractors, not the city. She, then-Mayor Jerry Sanders and project manager Charles Black, said the convention center deals were about local hiring rules, worker safety and other contentious issues. In exchange, unions dropped litigation over the project, ended their opposition to an environmental impact report and promised to express support for the expansion when it is considered by the labor-friendly California Coastal Commission.
The commission is the final regulatory hurdle the project has to clear. Once construction begins, the work is expected to take about 33 months, according to Black.
Scientists Find Antibody
that Transforms Bone
Marrow Stem Cells
Directly into Brain Cells
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have found a way to turn bone marrow stem cells directly into brain cells. Cell therapies derived from patients’ own cells are widely expected to be useful in treating spinal cord injuries, strokes and other conditions throughout the body, with little or no risk of immune rejection. Current techniques for turning patients’ marrow cells into cells of some other desired type are relatively cumbersome, risky and effectively confined to the lab dish. The new finding points to the possibility of simpler and safer techniques. The researchers discovered the method while looking for lab-grown antibodies that can activate a growth-stimulating receptor on marrow cells. One antibody turned out to activate the receptor in a way that induces marrow stem cells — which normally develop into white blood cells — to become neural progenitor cells, a type of almost-mature brain cell.
New Head Selected for
Felipe Monroig, former aide to former San Diego Councilman and mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio, has been named the new head of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association. He replaces Lani Lutar, who left the organization to become executive director of the Equinox Center. Monroig was chief of staff for DeMaio for five years. Before that he was an attorney working in Maryland and held positions with the Performance Institute in Washington, D.C.
Community on Board
With New Draft Ordinance
for San Diego
A draft medical marijuana ordinance coming before the City Council on Monday so far has the medical marijuana community’s support, reports KPBS. After the council approved an ordinance in March 2011, medical marijuana supporters said it too greatly limited the places patients could get their medical marijuana. So, they gathered signatures to force the new rules to be repealed. “They felt that the zones became so restricted that it was pretty much just denying access to people that were really in need,” said Ken Cole, president of the United Patients’ Alliance, the trade association of medical cannabis distributors. “They couldn’t get to a lot of the places.” The new proposal expands the zones enough that medical marijuana supporters are on board. The proposal also says dispensaries must be at least 600 feet from schools, public parks, child care centers, playgrounds and other medical marijuana dispensaries.
Torrey Pines Bank Hires 2 Vice Presidents
Torrey Pines Bank has hired Andrew Schwarz as vice president, loan officer for its Downtown Symphony Towers office, and Kathryn Nielsen as senior vice president, senior loan officer of the bank’s Carmel Valley office.
Schwarz has more than eight years of experience in commercial real estate lending. He was formerly a vice president for commercial real estate lending at a locally based credit union. Nielsen most recently was senior vice president and team leader, corporate banking for a San Diego commercial bank. She has 29 years of experience in the development and management of commercial relationships.