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Daily Business Report-Aug. 16, 2013

Daily Business Report-Aug. 16, 2013

Forum to Explore Future of Technology and Health

UC San Diego and The Atlantic magazine will present the next innovation forum — The Atlantic Meets the Pacific — Oct. 2-4 at the university’s Scripps Seaside Forum. The program will explore the people and places working at the cutting-edge of innovation in science, media and health technologies.

The event brings together attendees and some of the world’s most creative scientists and artists in an intimate atmosphere, which includes lunches, dinners and opportunities for mingling. Speakers at the forum will be interviewed by The Atlantic’s editorial team: James Bennet, editor-in-chief; James Fallows, national correspondent; and Steve Clemons, Washington editor-at-large.

The standard registration fee is $495. More information is available on the website:

County Unemployment Rate Rises

San Diego County’s jobless rate rose to 7.8 percent in July, up from 7.4 percent in June but below the 9.5 percent recorded in July of last year, the state Employment Development Department reported today. This compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 9.3 percent for California and 7.7 percent for the nation during the same period.

Between June and July of this Year:

Total nonfarm employment declined from 1,287,700 to 1,276,800, a loss of 10,900 jobs. Agricultural employment receded by 200 jobs, or 2.0 percent.

Government reported the greatest month-over decline, down 15,400 jobs. Federal government (up 100) offset the overall job losses in this sector, primarily from seasonal declines in government education. Local government decreased by 11,500 jobs, mainly from local government education (down 9,900). State government declined by

4,000 jobs, all from state government education.

Four other sectors also recorded job losses over the month. The most significant job losses came from educational and health services (down 1,700) and other services (down 1,300).

Five sectors added jobs month-over. The most notable came from leisure and hospitality (up 2,700); construction (up 2,600); and professional and business services (up 1,400).

Between July 2012 and July 2013:

Total nonfarm employment increased by 19,900 jobs, or 1.6 percent. Agricultural employment declined by 300 jobs, or 2.9 percent.

Professional and business services posted the greatest year-over gain, adding 5,600 jobs. Administrative and support and waste services (up 4,600) accounted for more than 80 percent of the job growth in this industry. Professional, scientific, and technical services increased by 900 jobs, while management of companies and enterprises added 100 jobs.

Six other sectors also posted positive job growth over the year. The most significant job gains came from educational and health services (up 5,300); leisure and hospitality (up 4,100); trade, transportation, and utilities (up 3,500); and construction (up 2,900).

Two nonfarm sectors reported year-over job losses: manufacturing (down 2,400) and information (down 300).

Filner’s Sexual Harassment Scandal Permeates Business Community

Sexual harassment accusations against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner have permeated the business community to such an extent that local business executives — when responding to a new survey — cited his controversy as a major problem facing the business sector.

Mayor Bob Filner

Mayor Bob Filner

The business survey found that while some industries show optimism about the next three months, 51 percent of businesses reported that they are facing new challenges, including the crisis surrounding Mayor Filner, the Affordable Care Act and ongoing regulations and taxes imposed by government.

“The fact that the subject of Mayor Filner came up as often as it did in an open-ended question about new challenges facing businesses shows his troubles have pierced the consciousness of the business community in both the city and the county,” said John Nienstedt, president of Competitive Edge Research. “These survey results, which were gathered toward the beginning of Mayor Filner’s problems, indicate that the issue was already gathering steam in mid-July.”

The survey is part of the San Diego County Business Forecast, the result of a partnership between the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Silvergate Bank and Competitive Edge Research.

Other highlights from the inaugural report:

• Nearly 20 percent of firms expect to see an increase in revenue over the next three months, while 42 percent of businesses believe a revenue increase is probable.

• 61-66 percent of businesses expect no change in the number of employees or employee hours.

• 61 percent believe conditions in their specific industry will improve.

• The health care/medical, cyber/IT/software and business consulting fields are the three fastest growing industries in San Diego. While no sectors are poised for a downturn, the outlook for some is stuck in neutral. Development and construction companies, printing and design firms, and businesses associated with the arts are less optimistic about the next three months.

For a report summary, click here…

 High-Tech Firefighting

Representatives from the Cal Fire Unit, San Diego Gas & Electric and UC San Diego say San Diego County is better prepared than ever for fire season due to a new communications system that enhances situational awareness during emergencies like wildfires. The Area Situational Awareness for Public Safety Network (ASAPnet) provides, among other things, authorities with access to real time weather readings from 150 weather stations operated by SDG&E. The core of the system is UC San Diego’s High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN).

Wireless Internet Access to Expand in Balboa Park

Soon, you’ll be able to use your smartphones, tablet computers and laptops with greater ease at Balboa Park’s central mesa. City Council President Todd Gloria on Thursday announced the expansion of wireless Internet access from the park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion to San Diego Museum of Art. The area includes the Plaza de Panama, where parking spots were recently removed and replaced with tables  and chairs. The Wi-Fi will not only enable visitors to surf the web but will also open doors for Balboa Park facilities to interact with users, such as webcasting organ concerts or developing location-specific applications. Michael Wall, vice president of public programs at San Diego’s Natural History Museum, was particularly excited about the latter. The museum received a grant from the Institute of Library and Museum Services to expand its influence. Wall said that could be an application to help visitors identify specific species of birds they may spot in the park.

— City News Service

Scripps Research Institute Reports Progress in Fighting Ebola Virus

Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute have developed a much clearer picture of how the Ebola virus replicates and how it spreads disease, often leading to death. Biologist Erica Ollmann Saphire and her team have laid out the detailed chemical chain reaction that allows the virus to form its shell, strengthen and cast off infected cells that lead to a hemorrhagic fever that cannot be cured. This new information is expected to help researchers develop drugs to effectively fight Ebola.

Executive Director Chosen for Toward Maximum Independence

Rachel Harris

Rachel Harris

Toward Maximum Independence (TMI), a San Diego nonprofit that serves people with developmental disabilities, has named Rachel Harris as its new executive director. Harris was the family support services director at TMI from 2004 through 2013.  She originally joined TMI as a social worker, but became director of family support services six months later. Under her leadership, the division grew from 14 children served to over 100 children at present while revenues increased to the current $4 million annually. As executive director, Harris will oversee 200 employees in programs designed to place people with developmental disabilities in meaningful employment and providing personalized support for clients and their advocates.

Procopio Adds Partners and an Associate to Menlo Park Practice

San Diego-based law firm Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch has added Jon Gonzales and Bob Sloss as partners in its Menlo Park office. Also joining the office is associate Aiko Yamakawa, relocating from San Diego.

Gonzales joins the business and technology team. His background includes representing private and publicly held companies and investment firms in general business matters. Prior to joining Procopio, Gonzales was a partner at GCA Law Partners. Sloss joins the intellectual property litigation team. He was previously senior corporate counsel at Oracle, supervising various parts of Oracle’s intellectual property litigation. Prior to that, he was a partner at Farella Braun + Martell.  He has more than 30 years’ experience litigating intellectual property and commercial disputes.


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Voice Your Opinion

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: